Edward F. Hagerty Jr.
A decent club-level player, self-described as having “more enthusiasm than talent”, Ed Hagerty began his 14-year rugby-playing career in 1962, during the fall of his junior year at Holy Cross College (Worcester, MA). Playing as a loose forward, he served as captain of the Holy Cross XV during his senior year.
Following graduation from Holy Cross (June-1964), Hagerty moved to New York City. Shortly thereafter, he fulfilled his military obligation by joining the Army National Guard, serving the first six months on active duty, with five years of weekend reserve duty to serve.
Returning to New York City after his six month active duty stint, Ed embarked upon a 12 year, post-college, rugby playing career. He played spirited but rather undisciplined first side rugby for the majority of his twelve year club tenure; first with the New York RFC (1964-67) and then, for a much longer period, with Old Blue (1967-75).
Career-wise, he spent his first two post-college years (1965-67) working as a media planner/analyst for Benton and Bowles, a major New York City ad agency.
His publishing career began in 1967 when he was hired as the Sales Development Manager for Ladies Home Journal, a large women’s service magazine.
Moving on to Times Mirror Magazines a year later (1968), Hagerty spent the next five years (1968-73) as Editorial and Marketing Research Director for Popular Science and Outdoor Life Magazines. He served as Publisher of Popular Science, a 100 year old publication with a circulation of 1,800,000, from October of 1973 until October of 1975.
Hagerty took a hiatus from the publishing business between November of 1975 and June of 1977. During this period he moved to Beverly Hills, California. There he went to work for Patrick Frawley, a friend and wealthy industrialist who, among other things, had started Schick Safety Razor, Schick Electric and Paper-Mate Pens.
During his two years in California, Hagerty served as an administrator for Schick Hospitals in Fort Worth and Seattle, did market research for Schick Smoking Centers and served as Director for the Twin Circle Publishing Company.
While his playing career had ended, Hagerty’s interest in rugby remained. During his tenure in California, he became involved, on a part-time basis (1975), in the publication of Rugby Magazine, which had been started by Jon Prusmack. Hagerty’s interest in Rugby Magazine, as a vehicle to grow the US game, increased as the months went by and in January of 1977 he was listed on the masthead as Editor in Chief.
Unburdening himself of his well-paying job with Schick, Hagerty returned from California to New York City at the end of June 1977. There, for many years in an office the size of a broom closet (but with a Madison Avenue address), he devoted his energies to writing, photographing, editing and publishing Rugby Magazine.
Ed Hagerty served as Editor in Chief of Rugby Magazine for a total of 32 years: from 1977 up to until June of 2009. He continued as Executive Editor until the summer of 2010, and remains a contributor and photographer today.
Hagerty edited, wrote news briefs, tournament stories, match reports, feature articles player, coach and referee profiles. In addition, he solicited copy for a variety of feature articles and regular departments from an eager, talented and well educated US rugby community.
He covered and photographed a large number of domestic and overseas tests, played by both the US Men’s and Women’s National 15s and 7s teams, from early 1976 until midway through 2010.
His test coverage began with the US Men’s first international test match: a 24-12 loss to Australia in Anaheim, California on January 31, 1976.
The two most memorable subjects that Ed Hagerty covered over the course of his 32 year Rugby Magazine career both involved South Africa. This was due to the racial policies that South Africa was involved in at the time.
The first was the highly controversial, seven match tour by the US Men’s National Team to South Africa and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in August of 1978. On this tour the Eagles traveled as the US Cougars.
8/9 Natal 16, US Cougars 10
8/12 SA Country Districts, US Cougars 12
8/16 Combined Universities 16, US Cougars 7
8/19 US Cougars 18, N Transvaal 15
8/22 Griqualand 13, US Cougars 4
8/26 SA Gazelles 20, US Cougars 16
8/28 Rhodesia 32, US Cougars 15
A second memorable episode involved the equally controversial, three-match return tour of an integrated South African Springbok side to Wisconsin and Upstate New York in the fall of 1981.
9/19 Racine, WI South Africa 46, Midwest RFU 12
9/22 Albany, NY South Africa 41, Eastern RFU 0
9/25 Glenville, NY South Africa 38, United States 7
In addition to providing coverage for numerous other domestic and overseas test matches, Hagerty also covered the following Rugby World Cups:
1987 Australia & New Zealand
Rugby Magazine went from print to its current digital format, RugbyMag.com, in 2010 and Hagerty continues as a contributor.
Commenting on his tenure with Rugby, Hagerty noted: “It’s been a great ride!”