The Association for Women in Sports Media is pleased to announce the establishment of the Leah Siegel Scholarship in honor of the Emmy-winning ESPN television producer, who passed away in July 2010 at age 43.
Sports journalism played a large part in Leah’s life. Her parents, Myra MacPherson and Morrie Siegel, were journalists in Washington D.C., and as a teenager, Leah worked with her father in the press box at RFK Stadium, cementing her life-long love of the Redskins, a passion that continued even after she moved to Dallas to work as an NFL producer for ESPN in 1996. She was once moved from the Cowboys coveted 50 yard line down to the end zone because her cell phone ring made the Cowboys nervous.
It played “Hail to the Redskins.” She combined her professional life as a traveling producer and that of a mother after the birth of her daughter, Teagan, in 2004, and son, Wyatt, in 2006.
Leah’s wit and wisdom carried her through the final two rough years of her life as she battled breast cancer, discovered in August 2008 when she gave birth to her third child, Oliver. Ever the journalist, Leah chronicled her battle with the disease through an online Caring Bridge Journal, and her writing inspired so many strangers that the blog received an astounding 60,000 visits.
Although Leah died so young, she had an immense impact on her many colleagues, friends and family, and was truly an inspiration for all young women, and especially for those seeking careers in
“Leah played such an important role for women both in sports journalism and in life that it is a privilege for AWSM to be part of honoring her memory,” said AWSM President Amy Moritz. “She was, and still is, an inspirational role model — as a mother, as a woman battling breast cancer and as a journalist. This scholarship will help her family continue Leah’s legacy, passing down her wit and wisdom to the next generation of women in sports media.”
The Leah Siegel Scholarship will help pay academic expenses for one of the AWSM’s summer interns working in sports media starting in the summer of 2012.