Pegler entered sports journalism when he returned from WWI service in the Navy and joined UPI as a baseball reporter. He introduced a tough and rowdy way of reporting, replacing the style of noncritical hero worship which had become hackneyed. He became a daily sports columnist for the Chicago Tribune and for several years wrote a weekly column for The Sporting News.
Pulitzer Prize-winner Pegler’s fame as a mainstream journalist is kept alive by those against whom he fulminated most viciously in his syndicated columns; liberals continue to view him as a glaring example of a reactionary newspaperman. His lost libel suit against Quentin Reynolds is often cited in both journalism and law courses.