- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Charles Barbour, 89, sportswriter

Charles William Barbour of Reston, a longtime editor and executive in the sports departments of two now-defunct Washington newspapers, died June 25 at Inova Loudoun Hospital Center in Virginia after a short illness. He was 89.

Mr. Barbour was born in the District, the oldest of 10 children. He left school to join the Washington Times-Herald as a copy boy in 1936. He joined the sports staff in 1937, covering the first three exhibition games played by the Washington Redskins. He left the paper in March 1942 for Army service and returned in October 1945.

Mr. Barbour was the paper’s sports editor from February 1949 until it was sold to The Washington Post on March 17, 1954. He joined The Washington Evening Star sports staff and was assistant sports editor until he retired in 1977.

“He was one of the best journalists I’ve ever worked with,” said Dick Heller, a former sportswriter for The Star and now a sports columnist for The Washington Times. “You couldn’t get by with any foolishness when Charlie was around, but he was very good at working with and encouraging young writers.”

Mr. Barbour served as an intelligence noncommissioned officer with the 86th Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron Mechanized of the 6th Armored Division in General George S. Patton’s Third Army during World War II and participated in four combat campaigns before being wounded in Marvie, Belgium, on Jan. 12, 1945, during the Battle of the Bulge. He was awarded the Purple Heart.

He lived in the District for 35 years before moving to Springfield, where he remained until a postretirement move to Orlando, Fla., in 1978. He returned to Virginia in 2005 and lived in Ashburn until his death.

Mr. Barbour’s wife, Virginia, died in 1999. Survivors include four children, Pamela Greer of Reston; Gail Johnson of Commerce Township, Mich.; Michael Barbour of Abell, Md.; and Charles Barbour of Roswell, Ga.; six grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Burial will be at Arlington National Cemetery (from the chapel to Section 47; No. 867) at 2:45 p.m. Aug. 31.

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