Listen to this article

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist James B. "Scotty" Reston is one of the University of Illinois' most influential alumni (1932), but it's largely unknown that he was a two-sport letter winner for the Illini.

Born in Scotland, Reston's family immigrated to the United States when he was 10 years old. The family soon settled in Dayton, Ohio, and Reston became a talented golfer, winning medalist honors at the Ohio state high school championship meet. He played both varsity golf and soccer as a student-athlete at Illinois, winning five total monograms, and served as a student assistant in UI's sports information office and as a golf correspondent for The News-Gazette.

Following brief stints in public relations with Ohio State University and the Cincinnati Reds, Reston began his legendary career as a journalist.

A chronological history of Reston's life:

Nov. 3, 1909: James Barrett Reston was born in Clydebank, Scotland.

Sept. 28, 1920: On board the SS Mobile, he, his mother and his sister arrived at Ellis Island in New York City.

1929: Earned varsity letter in soccer for the Illini.

1932: Served as captain of UI's golf team, also lettering in '31. After graduating, began his career as a reporter for the Springfield (Ohio) Daily News.

1933: Became sports publicity director at Ohio State University.

1934: Following a brief term as press agent for the Cincinnati Reds, began a five-year stint as a reporter for the Associated Press.

Dec. 24, 1935: He married fellow UI alum Sally Fulton.

1939: Joined New York Times staff, first as a sports reporter, then covered England's war with Germany from the London bureau.

1942: Established the U.S. Office of War Information in London, rejoining the Times in 1945.

1945: Won first of two Pulitzer Prizes for a series that detailed the establishment of the United Nations.

1953: Assigned to Washington, D.C., as national correspondent for the Times.

1957: Won second Pulitzer for his coverage of Dwight Eisenhower's presidential campaign.

1968: Became executive editor of the New York Times and later served as a vice president.

1970: Helped create journalism's first Op-Ed page.

1986: Won the Medal of Liberty and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Aug. 2, 1987: Wrote his final column for the Times.

1991: Authored his fifth book, a memoir entitled "Deadline".

1992: He was scheduled to give UI's Commencement address, but later declined because of health issues.

Dec. 6, 1995: Died at the age of 86 following a long bout with cancer.

Illini Birthdays:

Today: Dave Wuethrich, baseball (60)

Monday: Laura Bush, volleyball

Tuesday: Ade Adeyemo, football (37)

Wednesday: Jake Hansen, football (21)

Thursday: Brandon Ngai, gymnastics (21)

Friday: Ed White, football (54)

Saturday: Conor Gillespie, wrestling (38)

By Mike Pearson, author of Illini Legends, Lists & Lore (Third Edition now available in stores). Get more Illini birthdays, trivia and historical tidbits daily on Twitter@B1GLLL. His website is www.SportsLLL.com.