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Phil Jasner Dies Age 68

Phil Jasner Dies Age 68 - Phil Jasner, the premier chronicler of that community, as well as one of its most cherished members, died Friday at age 68.

A Daily News staff reporter since 1972 and the paper's 76ers beat writer since 1981, Jasner distinguished himself by his generosity and his even-handedness and his persistence most of all. He was an old-fashioned reporter who grew to be the most important basketball voice in a basketball city, known for both his fairness and his decency.

"I could tell at the age of 5," said his son, Andy. "He took me to a game with him and people started coming up to him to talk - security guards, everyone. It would go on for years like that, at the old Spectrum, whether it was an usher or Joe Fan in the third row. He was approachable that way. People liked him, and he treated everyone the same. He had time for everybody."

The 12th man on the bench got the same attention to detail and the same courtesy from Phil as the star of the team. It is one of the lessons Andy, also a sports writer, learned from his father. The two of them covered an NBA All-Star Game together for the first time in 1992 in Orlando.

"He was like a kid in a candy store that weekend," Andy said. "He never lost his enthusiasm for the work. I'm convinced he would have done it forever. He loved it.

"So many people in the business are so cynical. 'Sports writer' and 'cynical' go hand-in-hand sometimes, but he never was. In fact, he hated that. It made him crazy when people were like that."

His personal life was both painful and joyous. He supported his wife Susie, who died in 2006, through a decades-long battle with lupus. But late in his life, before his cancer diagnosis, he met Marcia Levinson, whom he grew to love and described as his life partner. Throughout, though, there was Andy and later, Andy's family: wife Taryn and granddaughters Jordana and Shira.

Phil Jasner Dies Age 68

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