ST. LOUIS -- Award-winning columnist Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch died Thursday after a short battle with cancer. He was 59.
The newspaper made the announcement on its website, stltoday.com. Sports editor Roger Hensley said in a statement that Burwell was one of the most well-respected journalists in his field.
"As great as Bryan was as a journalist, he was even better as teammate, as a coworker and as a friend," Hensley said.
Burwell's sports career spanned decades as a newspaper columnist and feature writer and with stints on national and local television, as well as ESPN's "Sports Reporters." Burwell last appeared on that show in September.
The Associated Press Sports Editors named Burwell one of the top 10 sports columnists in the country in 2007.
Among those posting condolences on Twitter were Albert Pujols, Chris Long, Warren Sapp, outgoing baseball commissioner Bud Selig, the St. Louis Cardinals and Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon.
Rest in peace Bryan Burwell. Bryan was an important part of the fabric of St Louis and the St Louis sports scene and he will be missed.— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) December 4, 2014
"Like so many others in the sports community today, I am shocked and saddened by the passing of respected journalist Bryan Burwell," Selig said in a statement. "From his recent coverage of the Cardinals to chronicling the national pastime as a whole, Bryan's passion and professionalism were evident throughout his long and distinguished sports media career."
Fellow Post-Dispatch columnist Bernie Miklasz, who had carried on a friendly rivalry, lamented the loss of a "dear, sweet friend and colleague."
Burwell joined the Post-Dispatch in 2002 after working as a correspondent for HBO's "Inside the NFL." During a long career, Burwell also wrote columns for USA Today and The Detroit News, and worked in New York at the Daily News and Newsday.
Among the major events Burwell covered was Michael Jordan's comeback and sprinter Ben Johnson's expulsion from the Seoul Olympics after a positive drug test. He authored a biography of John Madden.
In recent seasons, Burwell had begun working in sports video. In 2013, his "Upon Further Review" video columns were recognized by Editor and Publisher in its Eppy Awards.
Rams executive vice president Kevin Demoff tweeted, "Profoundly saddened by the passing of Bryan Burwell. His ability to find humor and optimism in life was surpassed only by his love of sports."
Burwell is survived by his wife, Dawn, and a daughter, Victoria. Funeral arrangements were pending.
Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.