YORKTOWN, Pa. – For Herm Rogul, basketball was like a religion. His brief playing career ended on the playgrounds of West Philly, but he became a chronicler of those who went on to greatness in the eras when Philadelphia basketball was stalked by giants.
He wrote about them, befriended them and cheered them on. But as a sports columnist for the old Philadelphia Bulletin for 21 years, Herm also chronicled the doings of the lesser lights, the ones who rarely got their names published anywhere but in his column.
“He was a people person,” said longtime friend and local sports icon Sonny Hill. “He was all about people. And he wrote about the disadvantaged on the sports social ladder, people who didn’t get much coverage.”
Herm Rogul, who once estimated he had had 6,234 bylines in the Bulletin before it closed in 1982, a mentor to anyone in sports or anywhere else who needed his knowledge both of the game and the art of sportswriting, died Tuesday. He was 72 and lived in Yorktown, North Philadelphia, within walking distance of his alma mater, Temple University.