Turf Writer Summers Dies at Age 66

Wrote "The Happy Handicapper" column for Buffalo News.

Bob Summers, a veteran turf writer and handicapper for the Buffalo (New York) News, died Sept. 4 at age 66. The cause of death was an apparent heart attack, according to the newspaper.

The Buffalo News reported that Summers was stricken at the Seneca Niagara Casino and taken to Niagara Falls Memorial Hospital.

A student of Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing who also liked to handicap and gamble, Summers authored a regular column called "The Happy Handicapper." Earlier this year, Summers was elected to the board of the National Turf Writers Association.


He is survived by his wife Sheila, daughter Samantha, two sisters, and a brother. The funeral will be held Sept. 9 at Perna, Dengler, and Roberts Funeral Home in Kenmore, N.Y. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory can be made to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation.

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A graduate of St. Bonaventure University, Summers first worked for the trade publication Metal Working News and then became a reporter for the Niagara Gazette. That was followed by stints in corporate communications for Bell Aero Systems and as a reporter for the Buffalo Courier-Express. He joined The News in 1977 as a financial writer, then in 1984 moved into the sports department, where he was able to pursue his love of horse racing.