I don’t give a damn how old he was; if he’d died at 1091 years of age I’d still be crushed at the idea of his death, which happened today. “The Dean” taught all of us, racers or readers, what POV means in racing. If you’re in the trench, tell us what it’s truly like. He understood that before anyone.
So he was politically incorrect. Once on CBS, he actually described a jackhammer as “a Mexican speed wrench.” (He did.) He also used to hustle copies of his newspaper at tracks by describing the ways in which drivers could be injured/killed. He did.
He also wrote more, and more beautifully/succinctly, about worldwide racing than anyone I ever read. I had one and only one chance to meet him, and was unsuccessful. I will always regret that. He was as Pound was to poetry, Beckett to theater. I shit you not. Economaki’s life’s writing is all the testimony he will ever need. I miss him horribly.