Saturday, June 07, 2008
Longtime broadcaster Jim McKay passed away today at the old age of 86, and while you never want to have to write posts like this the Broadcasting Hall of Famer did live a long and productive life. McKay spent most of his years as host of ABC's Wide World of Sports, but is mainly remembered for his gripping coverage of the kidnapping and deaths of 11 Israeli athletes during the 1972 Munich Games. The coverage of that event was exhaustive and if you've ever seen any of the documentaries his quote of, "They're all gone" probably still rings in your ears.
Not only did McKay do a lot of great things around the World covering the Olympics and various Sports for ABC, he also was a huge help to the State of Maryland. He helped the Horse Racing community of the State and because my dad worked at many of the courses I had the chance to meet Jim on a couple of different occasions. He was always pleasant and even though it's a sad day for everyone in Sports his quiet death at least came from natural causes and took place at his home in Monkton, MD.
Here are some quotes from people in the industry about the man and his life....
"He had a remarkable career and a remarkable life, hardly a day goes by when someone doesn't come up to me and say how much they admired my father."- Sean McManus, McKay's son and the president of CBS News and Sports.
"There are no superlatives that can adequately honor Jim McKay. He meant so much to so many people. He was a founding father of sports television, one of the most respected commentators in the history of broadcasting and journalism."- George Bodenheimer, president of ESPN and ABC Sports.
"He was truly the most respected and admired sportscaster of his generation and defined how the stories of sports can and should be covered. While we all know what an absolute titan he was in his chosen field, I will always remember him as an extraordinary human being guided by a strong moral compass."- Dick Ebersol
"He brought a reporter's eye, a literate touch, and above all a personal humanity to every assignment. He had a combination of qualities seldom seen in the history of the medium, not just sports."- Bob Costas
"His enthusiasm permeated every event he covered and thus always made it far more interesting. I always thought of him as a favorite teacher."- Al Michaels
Here are a couple other well stated pieces....
Sports Broadcast Titan Jim McKay Passes (Sox and Dawgs)
Legendary Sportscaster Jim McKay Dies at 86 (Fanhouse)