Veteran turf writer Larry Bortstein passed away in the early morning Jan. 31 at Arcadia Methodist Hospital after sustaining a pulmonary embolism Jan. 23. Bortstein, 67, never regained consciousness and had been on life support since being transported to Methodist following the embolism.
A native of New York, Bortstein was a versatile writer who covered horse racing for the Orange County Register for the past 17 years and had covered all major sports at various times over the past 40-plus years. In addition to his work at the Register, he was also a current contributor to the California Thoroughbred magazine, which is published by the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association.
“He was a consummate pro,” said former L.A. Herald Examiner sports writer and current Santa Anita publicity staffer Jack Disney. “Larry was very passionate about racing and the people in it. He was always for the underdog, and he had a broad network of sources.
“Larry overcame a lot. He was sight-impaired and had to depend on other people to transport him to the track, or to whatever sports venue he may be covering, be it a high school game or a major league baseball game. He was good-hearted, and he was extremely conscientious. He’ll be missed.”
In addition to sports, Bortstein also had a passion for music, singing in particular. He was a member of a barbershop harmony group and had sung professionally to help support his family since he was a small boy.
Bortstein is survived by his wife, Pat, a son, Steven, daughter Christy and grandson, Jeff. Memorial services are pending according to Pat Bortstein.