JACKSON — Michael Rubenstein, the long-time director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in Jackson, has died. He was 60.
Funeral arrangements are incomplete.
Rubenstein died of a heart attack Wednesday night, according to his office in Jackson.
Rubenstein had served as executive director of the Sports Hall since 1996. During his tenure, the hall began hosting events to honor the state’s top players in college football, men’s and women’s basketball and baseball.
The hall’s venue of honorees also was greatly expanded.
Sports Hall administrator Margaret Ferriss White said Rubenstein was instrumental in having the Hall of Fame erected.
“It was always such a passion of his. He’s so well-known for reporting the news, and he also wanted to preserve the sports history in this state. He really had an impact in seeing this come to fruition,” White said.
On the third anniversary of the sports hall, Rubenstein told the Associated Press that the challenge is to keep up with the changes.
“All of the time, we create more sports history than the museum can keep a handle on at any given time,” said Rubenstein. “Mississippi just continues to produce all of these wonderful athletes and teams.”
Jackson businessman Con Maloney, a sports hall board member and the past owner of minor league baseball team in Jackson, was a longtime friend of Rubenstein.
“We’re all really going to miss him. He was a great man,” Maloney said.
Rubenstein also served for 16 years as sports editor for WLBT-Channel 3 in Jackson.
In 1999, he received a kidney transplant after being on dialysis for 20 months.
A native of Booneville, he was a graduate of Vanderbilt University.