Olan has been a writer and editor for the Associated Press
(AP) wire service
since 1952. By the time he had
completed his fortieth year at the AP,
Olan had already received the Hockey
Hall of Fame’s Elmer Ferguson Award
(1987), named Honorary Lifetime
Member of the Baseball Writers Association
of America (1957), and had authored
thirteen books on sports.
Olan was AP hockey editor from
1954 to 1967 and covered college and
professional basketball, baseball, and
major boxing matches. He was the first
editor of Hockey Illustrated Magazine,
from 1962 to 1967.
As AP editor-writer and Special
Projects editor for AP Newsfeatures,
Olan assigned and edited an estimated 5,000 stories produced
sportswriters throughout America.
Named to the Special Projects position
in 1974, he produced sports books
published by AP in partnership with
major publishers such as Prentice-
Hall, Dell, Crown, and Grolier. His AP
book titles include The Associated Press
Sports Almanac, 1975 to 1979 editions;
The Sports Immortals; The 101 Greatest
Athletes of the Century; The 1980 Winter
Olympics Book; and A Century of Champions.
Among the books he independently
authored are Big Time Baseball (1956),
Baseball’s Unforgettable Games (1959,
with J. L. Reichler), Pro Football’s 100
Greatest Players (1984), and Pro Football’s
50 Greatest Games (1985), the last with
George Allen, and nine other books.
Among the publications for which
he served as editor between 1969 and
1984 are Boxing Today, Boxing Scene,
Sports Scene, Pro Football Today, and numerous