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Raised in north Minneapolis and dropping out of high school when he started delivering papers for the Minneapolis Tribune, Hartman received no formal writing training. Hartman penned his first column for the Minneapolis Daily Times on September 11, 1945, and continues to report, now for the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Sid Hartman has been a popular and widely read sports columnist throughout his career. Hartman's columns have always been strong on reporting, while the writing is less admired. Dick Cullum, Hartman's first editor, explained it this way: "Writers are a dime a dozen, but reporters are impossible to find." Steve Rushin of Sports Illustrated, noted, "English sometimes appears to be his second language." 
Hartman has also appeared as a radio sportscaster and commentator for years on Minneapolis's WCCO Radio. One of the elements of his style - often caricatured by local comics and other radio personalities - is his habit while interviewing a sports figure of referring to him or her as "my close personal friend". Over the years, his "close personal friends" have included the likes of George Steinbrenner, Bobby Knight, Lou Holtz, and Carl Yastrzemski.
Hartman has published two books:
Son Chad Hartman also has a radio show on WCCO. Hartman's name was among tens of thousands on Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff's client list. It is not publicly known how much money, if any, Hartman lost with Madoff when the $50 billion fraud was exposed late in 2008.
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