Longtime Texas Monthly writer Gary Cartwright dead at 82; part of Fort Worth Press’ legendary sports department

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Gary Cartwright, a former North Texas sportswriter whose features and profiles became part of the foundation of Texas Monthly magazine, has died at the age of 82.

Close friend and fellow Texas Monthly writer Jan Reid says Cartwright died Wednesday morning in the Seton Hospital in Austin. Reid’s wife, Dorothy Browne, said Cartwright had fallen in his home Feb. 10 and remained on the floor for four days before neighbors found him during a welfare check. He had been in hospice care since.

Cartwright was a young police reporter with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram before moving to the now-defunct Fort Worth Press, where he joined a legendary sports department run by Blackie Sherrod. He later moved to The Dallas Morning News, where he reported on the Don Meredith-era Dallas Cowboys. He launched his magazine career with Harper’s and Sports Illustrated before joining the newly launched Texas Monthly in 1975.

Profiles and true-crime stories became a specialty, leading to a gritty treatment on dogfighting and vivid profiles of Jack Ruby, El Paso detective Jay J. Armes and former exotic dancer and stag film performer Candy Barr.

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He also wrote a history of Galveston and other books. He also co-wrote scripts for “J.W. Coop” in 1972, “A Pair of Aces” in 1990 and “Pancho, Billy and Esmerelda” in 1994.

He also wrote a book on the murder trial of Fort Worth’s Cullen Davis, “Blood Will Tell.”