Sportscaster Curt Gowdy, the voice of NBC Sports for a decade in the 1960s and '70s and a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, has died.
Gowdy died of leukemia Monday (Feb. 20) at his home in West Palm Beach, Fla. He was 86.
After making his broadcasting debut in his native Wyoming in 1944, Gowdy worked in Oklahoma City for a time before joining Mel Allen to broadcast New York Yankees games on radio in 1949. Two years later, he became the voice of the Boston Red Sox, calling their games for 15 seasons.
In 1967, he began a decade-long run as the announcer on NBC's "Major League Baseball Game of the Week"; he also did play-by-play for NBC's NFL broadcasts. He broadcast 13 World Series and seven Super Bowls.
"When you heard Curt Gowdy call a game, you knew it was a big game," NBC Sports Chairman Dick Ebersol says. "For many years, he literally carried NBC Sports on his back as the signature voice for both Major League Baseball and the NFL. On a personal level, Curt was a great friend to me, especially in the early, formative years of my career."
Gowdy received the George Foster Peabody Award for excellence in broadcasting in 1970, with the awards committee noting his "blend of reporting, accuracy, knowledge, good humor, infectious honesty and enthusiasm." He was the first sportscaster to receive the award. He won baseball's Ford C. Frick Award in 1984, which enshrined him in the Hall of Fame.