|School: Merit Award||Graduation Year: 1972|
Year Inducted: 2022
Sport Played: Merit
Post High School Career: Our PIL Hall of Fame community was saddened and shocked on September 9th with the sudden death of our Secretary, Steve Brandon (1954-2022). A 1972 graduate of Cleveland High, Brandon had a 51-year career as a Sports Writer/Editor. He was 16 and still at Cleveland when he complained about the lack of sports coverage in The Community Press. The Editor called him in and ended up hiring him to be the paper’s Sports Editor. That led to 5 years with the Oregon Journal, 18 years with The Oregonian (the last 8 covering the Portland Trail Blazers), followed by 19 years as Sports Editor of the Portland Tribune.
Because he missed “the beat” of regular sports coverage, Steve answered an ad to become part-time Sports Editor of the Polk Co. Itemizer-Observer in September 2021, just before taking on Secretarial duties for the PIL Hall of Fame. His impact on that paper was profound, according to owner Scott Olson. In what turned out to be his last day on the job covering a stadium dedication and football game in Dallas, Oregon, September 9th, he didn’t make it out of the parking lot. Extended CPR by local police didn’t rouse him from an apparent heart attack.
Steve’s “Members of the Month” in depth interviews of Hall of Fame members have been generating a “buzz” since they started in the Fall of 2020. Some 32 are available on our PIL Hall of Fame website.
The Executive Committee unanimously recommended Steve for the Roy Love Distinguished Service Award, who becomes the 18th Inductee to the Hall of Fame via distinguished service.