A longtime correspondent for
The Sporting News, McGowan sprinkled his writing with quotes from Shakespeare and the literary classics. At age 11 he was a reporter and printer 's devil for an Iowa weekly. Later
he moved to the Walnut Grove (Illinois) Banner for $15 a month, and then became a
railroad telegrapher and wire reporter for the AP. While he was with the Rock Island
Argus, his contributions to the Chicago Tribune led to a job with the New York Daily News in 1922. A 30-year stay with the New York Times began in 1929. It was McGowan who asked Giants ' manager Bill Terry about the
Dodgers' chances in 1934 and received the famous answer, "Is Brooklyn still in the
league?," a remark that returned to haunt the Giants at season's end. McGowan was
president of the BBWAA in 1949.