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Chester R. Simmons dies at 81; pioneering sports broadcaster
Chester R. Simmons dies at 81; pioneering sports broadcaster

Pioneering sports broadcaster Chester R. Simmons, who served as president of ESPN during the company's launch in 1979, died Thursday in Atlanta, the network announced. He was 81. The cause of death was not disclosed. Simmons began his career in broadcasting in 1957 with Sports Programs Inc., which became ABC Sports. He was involved in developing "Wide World of Sports" before becoming president of NBC Sports and later ESPN. He was also founding commissioner of the United States Football League, or USFL. "Chet Simmons' leadership and vision in our first years were absolutely critical to ESPN's survival," said George Bodenheimer, president of ESPN and ABC...

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