Writer, Humanitarian and Friend

This web site is devoted to Richard J. Starr (Penn State, Journalism, BS 1975) and his kind of sports writing — dedicated to the human impact of sports on the athletes, their families, fans and communities. It also celebrates Rick as a humanitarian and a friend.

Rick died in May of 2017 at age 64 after retiring from sports writing at Pittsburgh-area newspapers. While he left us far too early, the impact of his work lives on. Those of us who were privileged to know Rick, work with him and enjoy the gift of his friendship were inspired by his writing. His prose never failed to move even those of us who did not follow sports. His stories were transcendent and his style poetic.

Through the Rick Starr Award for Human-Centered Sports Journalism, established at the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at Pennsylvania State University, we hope to encourage other Penn State students majoring in communications to follow Rick’s example.

Matt DiSanto: Our 2021 Award Winner

Matt DiSanto, a PSU junior majoring in journalism, is the winner of the Rick Starr Award for 2021. Matt, who is managing editor of OnwardState.com, a PSU student-run news blog that is the most-followed student media outlet in the country, directs a staff of 60 students who cover all aspects of the Penn State experience.…

Meet our 2020 Starr Award Winners

Between 2020 and 2030, Penn State’s Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications will give awards annually to students in the school who best exemplify Rick Starr’s approach to sports journalism. We are delighted that the college has named two 2020 award winners: Shane Connelly (B.A., Digital Print Journalism, 2021) Shane is the first winner of the…

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