Ed Grant, a legendary figure in New Jersey track and field and cross-country since the 1940's, passed away on Tuesday afternoon at the age of 94 while surrounded by his family at the Center for Hope Hospice & Pallative Care in Scotch Plains, N.J, his son, Ed Jr., said.
Grant's funeral is scheduled for May 17 at 1:30 at Our Lady of Peace New Providence. Visitation is May 16 at Ippolito Funeral Home in Summit.
Grant, a towering presence in N.J. ever since he began officiating and covering track and field for the Jersey Journal when he was a 17-year-old college freshman at St. Peter's in Jersey City 1944, had been in hospice since March after he suffered a fall and a heart attack.
Grant, who wrote for the Newark News, Newark Star-Ledger and founded and published the "New Jersey Track'' annual and newsletter for more than 40 years, was NJ's historian of the sport, the go to source for every state and county record, and every possible statistic in state history.
In 2018, Grant was a member of the inaugural class of the National High School Track & Field Hall of Fame inducted in 2018, and has been inducted into just about every Track and Field Hall of Fame there is, and has received the highest awards possible for his passionate coverage of the sport.
Among many of his remarkable accomplishments, Grant attended the Penn Relays 74 straight years from 1946 through 2019, a streak that will likely never be broken!
There never has been, nor will there ever will be anyone like Grant. Without him, there wouldn't be any history of the sport in NJ. Ed Grant is irreplaceable, and will always be a New Jersey treasure!
This is a very sad day for the NJ track and field community, and for me personally.
Grant was my mentor when I took over the track and field beat at The Star-Ledger back in 1990. He took me under his wing, showing me how to cover the sport, educated me on the history of track and field in this state, and how to build relationships and trust with athletes and coaches. I am forever grateful to Ed for shaping me into a track and field reporter. I owe everything to him. I wouldn't have pursued a career as a track and field reporter without his guidance. I'm honored to have followed in his footsteps. I had the privilege of learning from the master, The Godfather of NJ Track and Field himself. I sure was lucky!
Some of the best days of my life were spent in press boxes with Ed at track meets, listening for hours as he spun classic tales from the days of cinder tracks and 220 yard straightaways. I was getting free history lessons about our great sport!
But most of all, I will miss Ed as a friend. Ed Grant wasn't just a Hall of Fame reporter, he was a Hall of Fame person!
Ed Grant should be remembered as a trailblazer, one of a kind, and a great person. In my mind he's just as much of a legendary track and field figure and icon in this state as Milt Campbell, Carl and Carol Lewis, Marty Liquori, Joetta Clark, Eulace Peacock, Ajee' Wilson and Sydney McLaughlin, and all the other all-time greats.
Ed Grant may have crossed the finish line of life today, but his impact and his legacy of greatness will live on forever!