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Sid Yudain: The Man Behind Roll Call

CQ Roll Call File Photo
Yudain, the founder of Roll Call, died Sunday. He was 90.

There were also bylines from luminaries such as Richard M. Nixon, who as vice president implored Yudain to literally stop the presses so he could write an obituary for a Capitol doorman who had died.

For his 80th birthday, nearly 15 years after his last column ran in Roll Call, Rep. Tom Davis, R-Va., honored Yudain on the House floor. Throughout the 32 years that Sid owned Roll Call, the paper chronicled life on the Hill and promoted a community spirit where members and staffers of all political persuasions could come together to celebrate their common service to the American People, Davis said.

Charlie Mitchell, a former editor of Roll Call, recalled how Sid revolutionized the way the Capitol Hill community talked to one another. He created a place that was all about this unique environment, and that mark is still being seen today.

Play Ball!

One of Yudains greatest legacies was restarting the Congressional Baseball Game in 1962. Speaker Sam Rayburn, D-Texas, had put the kibosh on the game because of a host of injuries and bad feelings all around. But Yudain saw the potential for something more.

The game, now in its 52nd year since being reborn, raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities, including the Washington Literacy Council and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington. It has been played at Griffith Stadium, RFK Stadium and Prince Georges Stadium in Bowie, Md. Its now on a grand stage at Nationals Park and is a rallying point for bipartisanship among members of Congress and staff.

It was something that united Capitol Hill along the lines of Sids vision for Roll Call being a part of the community, not just a news outlet, said David Meyers, who heads up CQ Roll Calls state legislative tracking products and who got to know Yudain well during his time as managing editor of Roll Call.

Yudain was inducted into the Roll Call Congressional Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998.

Signing Off

Besides his wife, Yudain is survived by a daughter, Rachel Kuchinad of New York City; a son, Raymond Yudain of Los Angeles; and three grandchildren, Owen, Lucas and Charlotte.

A World War II veteran, Yudain will be buried at Arlington Cemetery. The family is still working on details for a memorial service to be held at the National Press Club.

Yudain knew how to sign off in style. He ended his -30- column back in 1988 thusly: And so, with the ovations, testimonials, and awards a distant memory, I slip off into another sphere. Thanks for your support, thanks for your friendship, and thanks for the memories.

We couldnt have said it better ourselves.

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