A native of Maryland, Tom Callahan began his illustrious career in journalism in the midst of his tenure at Mount Saint Mary’s College. Before graduating with a bachelor’s degree in English, Callahan wrote columns for the Emmetsburg Chronicle. It was at the Chronicle that Callahan covered the 1966 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Baltimore Orioles, capped by back-to-back, 1-0, victories by the Orioles.
After a short stint at the Emmetsburg Chronicle, Callahan joined the Evening Sun as a sports reporter under the leadership of sports editor Bill Tanton. Callahan covered mostly high school sports initially, but he soon made the leap to professional sports shortly into his tenure at the Evening Sun. While Callahan had a passion for reporting baseball, he covered a variety of sports, including boxing.
After a couple of years, Jack Murphy of the San Diego Union convinced Callahan to head west to San Diego to cover the NBA. Callahan covered the San Diego Rockets, who became a franchise in 1967.
After a short run in San Diego, Callahan was recruited by the Cincinnati Enquirer to cover the NBA’s Cincinnati Royals. Callahan was in competition with two other reporters to become a columnist for the Enquirer, and in May 1972, Callahan was made the columnist for the paper. Yet, after spending his entire career in journalism covering sports, Callahan transitioned to hard news for a year while in Cincinnati. Callahan thought sports journalists and hard news reporters had different eyes for the world, thus compelling him to make the switch to city reporting. More than anything, it was the geography of Cincinnati that was so attractive to Callahan. Throughout his sports career at the Cincinnati Enquirer, Callahan covered the INDY500, Kentucky Derby and the Bengals. Callahan also covered the rise of Indiana men’s basketball coach Bobby Knight.
In search of larger market, Callahan moved to the nation’s capitol to write columns for the Washington Star. Callahan wrote for the Star for three years before the paper folded.
Deciding between offers from Time and Sports Illustrated, Callahan joined the Time magazine news team as its only sports columnist. In 1981, Callahan wrote a cover story on San Francisco 49er Joe Montana, who ended up winning his first Super Bowl that season. While at Time, Callahan wrote more than 30 cover stories.
After covering the Olympics and countless Super Bowls, Callahan made an arrangement with Washington Post sports editor George Solomon to write 40 columns a year for the Post and Newsweek. Callahan wrote a Sunday column for Solomon for five years.
In 1985, Callahan started writing for Golf Digest, which he still continues to write columns for to this day. He developed strong relationships with many pro golfers, particularly Arnold Palmer. Following Palmer’s death in 2016, Callahan released his book, “Arnie: The Life of Arnold Palmer” in May 2017 detailing the career of Palmer. He is the author of many other bestselling books, including “Johnny U and In Search of Tiger.” Callahan moved from St. Augustine, Fl., to Virginia to be closer to his grandchildren.