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The film Little Miss Marker (and its two remakes, Sorrowful Jones and the 1980 Little Miss Marker) grew from his short story of the same name.Runyon was also a well-known newspaper reporter, covering sports and general news for decades for various publications and syndicates owned by William Randolph Hearst.His expertise was in covering the semi-professional teams in Colorado; he even briefly managed a semi-pro team in Trinidad, Colorado.
He spun humorous and sentimental tales of gamblers, hustlers, actors, and gangsters, few of whom go by "square" names, preferring instead colorful monikers such as "Nathan Detroit", "Benny Southstreet", "Big Jule", "Harry the Horse", "Good Time Charley", "Dave the Dude", or "The Seldom Seen Kid".
In present-day Pueblo, Runyon Field, the Damon Runyon Repertory Theater Company, and Runyon Lake are named in his honor. While in the service, he was assigned to write for the Manila Freedom and Soldier's Letter.
In 1898, when still in his teens, Runyon enlisted in the U. he then worked in the Rocky Mountain area during the first decade of the 1900s: at the Denver Daily News, he served as "sporting editor" (what would today be called "sports editor") and then worked as a staff writer.
When Berman was killed in a hit on Berman's boss, Dutch Schultz, Runyon quickly assumed the role of damage control for his deceased friend, correcting erroneous press releases (including one that stated Berman was one of Schultz's gunmen, to which Runyon replied, "Otto would have been as effective a bodyguard as a two-year-old.").
Runyon's marriage to Ellen Egan produced two children (Mary and Damon, Jr.), but broke up in 1928 over rumors that Runyon had become infatuated with Patrice Amati del Grande, a Mexican woman he had first met while covering the Pancho Villa raids in 1916 and discovered once again in New York, when she called the American seeking him out.