Robert “Andy” Hoffman, 70, passed away unexpectedly at his home in Lawrence on Jan. 5, 2023. Born to Bob and Patricia Hoffman on May 27, 1952 in Pittsburg, Kansas, Andy attended St. Mary’s-Colgan High School and Pittsburg State University.
He worked for the school newspaper, The Collegio, which inspired him to become an investigative reporter. He began covering politics and sports, but his passion was covering crime and the court system. After college, Andy headed to The Newton Kansan, then to the Hutchinson News, the Olathe Daily News, and the Burlington (Iowa) Hawkeye. Over his 40+ year illustrious journalism career, his investigative reporting and writing skills were unmatched. He won numerous awards including The Burton W. Marvin Award from the William Allen White School of Journalism at the University of Kansas for a series of newspaper articles that led to the removal of a Johnson County District Court Judge for malfeasance, and the H.G. Roberts Foundation’s First Amendment Freedom Award from Pittsburg State for stories leading to the arrest and conviction of a man who killed two Kansas teenage sisters.
He was also a four-time winner of the Iowa Press Association and Kansas Press Association’s awards for spot news, the Inland Press Association Award for investigative reporting and a four-time winner of the Harris Communications’ Enterprise Award. He wrote a series of articles that led to the first Major League Baseball players (Kansas City Royals) being sent to prison on drug charges. He covered over 200 murder cases, was involved in the arrest and conviction of an international arms smuggler and regularly wrote newspaper columns about life in the Midwest. He was also an author, having written two true-crime books, Family Affairs and Love Kills, published by Simon & Schuster and Avon Books respectively.
He was also appointed to a “blue-ribbon” commission by Kansas’ three branches of government to perform a comprehensive study of the state’s judicial system — one of only a handful of non-lawyers and judges asked to serve on the prestigious 40-member panel. He was featured on numerous national television shows, including 48 Hours, Dateline, Inside Edition, Snapped, and Current Affairs, as well as being a regular panelist on local and state public television programs throughout his career. In addition to this, he also worked on a successful campaign for a US House of Representative candidate.
While in Hutchinson, Andy met the “love of his life,” Teresa. They married in 1984 and had a son, Nick, in 1995. Nick was the light of his life and they went everywhere together during Nick’s early years. No father was ever more proud of his son. Andy was always the life of the party and was a great story-teller — he had many stories from his professional and personal life. He never met a stranger and had friends throughout the country from all walks of life. It wouldn’t be unusual for him to get a phone call from a “source” in prison or the police department and a call from someone in a high political office on the same day. His energy was off the charts and he loved being a reporter. He was charismatic, well-read, fun to be around, and he had strong opinions on sports and politics.
He loved golf, especially the “noon group” at Alvamar, and was looking forward to playing golf again with Nick after his recent surgery. He loved KU basketball, and was a long-time season-ticket holder for both the Kansas City Chiefs and Kansas City Royals. Teresa, Andy and Nick attended multiple Final Fours, Big 8/Big 12 Tournaments, AFC Championship games and professional golf tournaments. One of his favorite stories was that he could run a tab with the beer vendors at both Royals and Arrowhead Stadium and write a check if he ran out of cash. He also loved sports betting and horse racing and was able to fulfill a life-long dream of going to Churchill Downs. He also loved all kinds of music — it was an important part of every day. He just loved life! Everyone who knew him has at least one “Andy Hoffman story.” He was truly one-of-a-kind and will be greatly missed.
Andy is survived by his son, Nick (Denver, CO); ex-wife, Teresa (Overland Park, KS); mother Patricia Hoffman (Pittsburg, KS); sister Marsha (Mark) Gonzales (Weatherby Lake, MO); brother Jeff (Janis) Hoffman (Pittsburg, KS); and many cousins, nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his father, Bob Hoffman (Pittsburg, KS) and grandparents Leo and Helen Schweitzer and Eda and Adolf Andrew Hoffman, and his beloved golden retrievers, Blue and Carlos.
A Visitation will be held at 9 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 20 at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 7851 W. 119th St., Overland Park, Kansas with a Memorial Service following at 10 am. There will also be a Celebration of Life afterwards to raise a toast, tell stories, laugh, and remember Andy as he would have wanted.
The family encourages friends to leave tributes at https://signaturefunerals.com/andyhoffman/