Globe's McDonough dies at 67
Page 3 of 4 -- Those who worked near Mr. McDonough's desk at the Globe (he never had an office) marveled at the names of people - figures from sports and politics and just plain folk - who returned his calls, or just called him up to talk, knowing their names would be protected if that was what they wanted. He could be rough on those he considered ''phonies'' - former Red Sox pitcher Roger Clemens, for instance, was ''the Texas Con Man'' and former Red Sox first baseman Mo Vaughan was ''Mo Money'' - but he made every effort to give those he skewered a chance to state their piece. Last Saturday, in his last column, he showed little enthusiasm for the baseball know-how of Red Sox president Larry Lucchino and he laid out the reasons why. When Will McDonough took on a sports poohbah in critical fashion, the story rarely ended with that column. He and Lucchino were on the radio on Monday morning trading barbs (in separate segments), and the exchange offered great promise for the weeks until spring training.
Yesterday, on being informed of Mr. McDonough's death, Lucchino said, ''Recently, Will and I publicly clashed. We certainly did not agree on a range of Red Sox issues, but that is immaterial at this time. Will's enduring contribution to the sports world in Boston will not be forgotten, and he will be missed.''
Mr. McDonough's lifelong association with the Bulger family of South Boston was a source of expressed concern to many in the Boston community, but not to him. He was quick to rise to the defense of his old friend and neighbor, UMass President William M. Bulger (Mr. McDonough was the campaign manager when Bulger ran for state representative in 1960), on many occasions over the years, most particularly and recently when Bulger was being pilloried late last year for the position he took with respect to the worldwide search for his brother, James ''Whitey'' Bulger. Mr. McDonough knew all the stories, and then some, about ''Whitey'' Bulger, who stands accused of multiple murders, but he refused to, as he said, ''take a walk on the president'' when he needed a friend.
Yesterday, William Bulger spoke of his friend: ''Like so many people in Boston and beyond, I will miss Will McDonough. He provided me with the friendship of a lifetime, for which I am so very grateful. Will McDonough's friends were never lonely - he was there during the bright moments and always on hand during times of adversity. To be Will's friend was to possess a great gift.''
Inside the Globe, Mr. McDonough was hailed for the depth of his commitment to his newspaper. Said Editor Martin Baron: ''All of us at the Globe are deeply saddened by the death of Will McDonough. He was a defining force in sports journalism as well as a dear friend and cherished colleague to so many here at the paper. At this moment of loss and mourning, our thoughts and sympathies are first with Will's family. Boston has lost a great journalist and a devoted friend.'' Continued...