Monitor: The New York press on the death of Joe DiMaggio, the Yankees baseball player

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The Independent Culture
WE DEIFY, though we know the deification often kills, as in the cases of Elvis Presley, Princess Diana and John Lennon. Even when the recipient's life is spared, the fame and idolatry poison and injure. There is no doubt in my mind that DiMaggio suffered for being DiMaggio. We inflict this damage because we are enthralled by myths, stories and allegories. The son of Italian immigrants, the father a fisherman, grows up poor in San Francisco and becomes the greatest baseball player of his day, marries an American goddess and never in word or deed befouls his legend and greatness. He is "the Yankee Clipper", as proud and masculine as a battleship. In these days of Presidential transgressions and apologies and prime-time interviews about private sexual matters, we grieve for Joe DiMaggio and mourn the loss of his grace and dignity, his fierce sense of privacy, his fidelity to the memory of his wife and the power of his silence. (Paul Simon)

The New York Times

FOR 15 glorious years, Joseph Paul DiMaggio was the pride of New York. Yankees fans of all ages idolised him and wanted to be like him. They cheered when he married Marilyn Monroe and felt his pain when the marriage disintegrated. After his retirement, he zealously guarded his privacy - even in an age when he could have made a fortune by writing a tell-all book - yet still remained a public figure. Glorious though they may be, we now only have our memories of the Yankee Clipper. Joltin' Joe has left and gone away.

New York Post

MAYBE MICHAEL Jordan will be the one someday. Maybe, when the young are old, when Jordan is in his eighties, he will be the standard against which all other grace is measured, the way it was measured against Joe DiMaggio for more than 60 years in America. The way singers are compared to Frank Sinatra, and dancers to Astaire. Just not today. The great DiMaggio is still the standard today. We still measure all possible grace in sports against him, in death as we did in life.

(Mike Lupica)

New York Daily News