A chance meeting as caddy for Washington Post publisher Ned McLean eventually brought Shirley Povich from his native Maine to the Washington Post in 1923. Starting as a copyboy, Povich eventually gained his first byline in 1924.
By 1926, the 20-year-old Povich was the youngest sports editor of a major U.S. newspaper. Povich officially retired 51 years after first joining the Post, but he continued to write for the paper until, literally, the day before he passed away. Povich wrote over 15,000 columns during a sportswriting career which lasted nearly 75 years, witnessing milestones of baseball history from the Senators one and only World Series championship in 1924 to the game in which Cal Ripken Jr. passed Lou Gehrig as the record holder for most consecutive games played.
Ben Bradlee, former executive director of the Washington Post, stated "Shirley Povich was why people bought the paper. You got the Post for Shirley and the sports section. He was the sports section. For a lot of years, he carried the paper, and that's no exaggeration."