Award-winning columnist Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch died Thursday after a short battle with cancer. He was 59.

The newspaper made the announcement on its website, Sports editor Roger Hensley said in a statement that Burwell was one of the most well-respected journalists in his field. "As great as Bryan was as a journalist, he was even better as teammate, as a coworker and as a friend," Hensley said.

Burwell's sports career spanned decades as a newspaper columnist and feature writer and with stints on national and local television, as well as ESPN's "Sports Reporters." Burwell last appeared on that show in September. The Associated Press Sports Editors named Burwell one of the top 10 sports columnists in the country in 2007.