News Archive

News Archive

On the Death of Ekkehard zur Megede

Ekkehard zur Megede, an internationally renowned track and field journalist and

statistician, who for years wrote sport history articles for the BERLIN

MARATHON programme, passed away on Thursday in Berlin at age 78.

After finishing his secondary school in Arnswalde (Pommerania), Ekkehard zur

Megede, who was born on November 19, 1926 in Reetz (Pommerania), moved to his

aunt in Berlin. His great interest in track and field led him to become a sport

journalist. His application at the daily paper, the Tagesspiegel, which was

produced in the old Ullstein building under American license, was successful

and he started his apprenticeship there in 1946.

After demonstrating hard work during his traineeship, he was hired

afterwards as the sport editor. There he met his future wife, which whom he had

three children. His two sons live in Berlin. His daughter died 10 years ago,

which was very traumatic for him.

In the 1950s, Ekkehard zur Megede left the Tagesspiegel for a few years and

took over the editorship of the foreign segment of trade journal

“Leichtathletik“ (Track and Field), which in 1950 returned to the

hands of Heinz Cavalier in the publishing house Bartels & Wernitz in

Berlin-Charlottenburg. He also wrote numerous articles, series, and reports of

the big athletics events—European championships, world championships, and

the Olympic Games. Due to his connections, Ekkehard zur Megede was often the

one who procured the stars for the international athletics festival, the ISTAF,

which still today takes place in the Olympic Stadium. He returned to the

Tagesspiegel in 1963, where he became the deputy head of the sport department.

Ekkehard zur Megede also wrote articles and commentaries for other large

newspapers, such as the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. After retiring in 1990,

he remained a free-lance reporter until two years ago. The initials “z-M

“ were his trademark, but he also wrote under the pseudonym Ehm Ohm. His

article series and two books brought him fame in the 1960s: “Und dann

trennten wir uns..." (And then We Parted…) and “Läufer,

Lorbeer und Legenden" (Runners, Laurels, and Legends). And he received

international recognition with the publication of his three-volume work

“Olympische Leichtathletik" (Olympic Track and Field) from

1968-1970—the edition is sold out. In 1999 he followed with volume 4. His

documentation of all of the results in track and field at the Olympic Games

from 1896 to 1996 comprises 716 pages.

As one of the founding members of the worldwide Association of Track &

Field Statisticians (with current membership of ca. 300 in 60 countries), he

became so involved with the history of track and field during the European

Championships in Brussels in 1950 that he put together a review of the

developments in world records in all disciplines with many details for the

international Athletics Association (IAAF). The book, which he wrote together

with Richard Hymens, is over 700 pages long. Starting in 1950, z-M also wrote

for over 40 years for the trade magazine “Leichtathletik" (Track and

Field). He was honoured by the German Athletics Association (DLV) with the

Heinz Cavalier Prize in 1991, which is given in memory of the man who was the

head editor of ”Leichtathletik” from 1924 to 1944 and from 1950 to