In passing: George Ambrose, USC sports information director and former Daily News sports editor

George Bartlett Ambrose, a long-time sports and entertainment writer and publicist in Southern California, died Sunday in Torrance, according to his wife, Rachel. He was 89.

Ambrose worked as sports editor of the Van Nuys News, now the Los Angeles Daily News, from 1950 to 1952. The USC journalism graduate was also sports information director at the university from 1963 through 1967, helping to map the publicity campaign of Heisman Trophy winner Mike Garrett in 1965.

A native of Exeter, Ca., Ambrose graduated from USC after four years in the Army with a lifelong love of track and field. He wore his ring commemorating being track manager for the national championship team.

In 2005, Ambrose was awarded USC’s Heritage Award for lifelong contributions to the Trojan track and field program. In retirement, Ambrose aided in the selection of annual Heritage Award winners for Trojan track and field for 20 years.

Ambrose was also as associate sports editor of the Glendale News-Press, covering three Olympic Games. He also covered the “Mile of the Century” race between Roger Bannister and John Landy in Vancouver in 1954.

In 1960, Ambrose began the first of two stints as a unit publicist with CBS Television Network in Hollywood. He handled shows such as “The Twilight Zone,” “The Carol Burnett Show” and “Route 66.” At CBS again from a 1968 to 1979, Ambrose handled “M*A*S*H,” “Cannon,” “Here’s Lucy,” “Barnaby Jones” and “Medical Center.”

He did publicity work on the 1960 Rome Summer Olympics as well as helped with the 1984 Summer Olympics in L.A.

A 35-year resident of Palos Verdes Estates, Ambrose is survived by his wife of 40 years, Rachel; son, Josiah of San Mateo, Ca.; daughter-in-law, MaryAlice; grandson, Ezra, and granddaughter Polly.

Services are set for 11:30 Thursday at Rice Mortuary in Torrance followed by burial Friday in Porterville.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email