Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Manhattan in Riley County, Kansas — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Damon Runyon

The First Neighborhoods

 
 
Damon Runyon Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., February 16, 2015
1. Damon Runyon Marker
Inscription.

Damon Runyon (October 3, 1880—December 10, 1946) was a newspaperman and writer best known for his short stories celebrating the world of Broadway in New York City. He spun humorous tales of gamblers, hustlers, actors, and gangsters; few of whom go by ordinary names, preferring instead to be known as "Nathan Detroit," "Big Jule," "Harry the Horse," "Good Time Charley," "Dave the Dude," and so on. These stories were written in a very distinctive vernacular style: a mixture of formal speech and colorful slang, almost always in present tense, and always devoid of contractions. The well known musical Guys and Dolls is based on two of Runyon's short stories. Runyon is regarded as the father of "Broadway" in New York City.

He was born Alfred Damon Runyan here, in the family home at 400 Osage. His father was editor of the Manhattan Enterprise, now The Manhattan Mercury. Runyon's family moved from Manhattan in 1882 and he grew up in various communities, including Pueblo, Colorado, where he began his profession working for his father. He wrote for various newspapers in the Rocky Mountain area; at one of those, the spelling of his last name was changed from "Runyan" to "Runyon," a change he let stand. Later in his career, Runyon dropped his first name of "Alfred," and he became simply "Damon Runyon."

Runyon

Damon Runyon House and Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., February 16, 2015
2. Damon Runyon House and Marker
moved to New York City in 1910. For the next ten years he covered the New York Giants and professional boxing. He was the Hearst newspapers' baseball columnist for many years, beginning in 1911, and his knack for spotting the eccentric and the unusual, on the field or in the stands, is credited with revolutionizing the way baseball was covered. Perhaps as confirmation, Runyon was inducted into the writers' wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1967.

Gambling was a common theme of Runyon's work, and he was a notorious gambler himself. A well-known saying of his paraphrases Ecclesiastes: "The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that's the way to bet."

He died in New York City from throat cancer in 1946. The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation was established in his honor.

The Damon Runyon House, on the northwest corner of 4th and Osage — 400 Osage Street — is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
 
Location. 39° 10.945′ N, 96° 33.713′ W. Marker is in Manhattan, Kansas, in Riley County. Marker is at the intersection of 4th Street and Osage Street, on the left when traveling north on 4th Street. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 400 Osage Street, Manhattan KS 66502, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within

Damon Runyon House image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., February 16, 2015
3. Damon Runyon House
walking distance of this marker. Osage Street (a few steps from this marker); Amanda Arnold Arch (approx. 0.2 miles away); The American Veteran (approx. 0.2 miles away); Carnegie Library (approx. 0.2 miles away); Riley County Courthouse (approx. 0.2 miles away); Colorado Street (approx. 0.4 miles away); Change & Growth (approx. 0.4 miles away); Yuma Street (approx. half a mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Manhattan.
 
Also see . . .
1. Damon Runyon Biography. (Submitted on February 22, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. History of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation. (Submitted on February 22, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. Damon Runyon's Broadway. (Submitted on February 22, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
4. Damon Runyon at National Baseball Hall of Fame. (Submitted on February 22, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
5. The Damon Runyon Theater Program. (Submitted on February 22, 2015, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Arts, Letters, MusicCommunications
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 180 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Paid Advertisement