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Howard Cosell

(1918 - 1995)

Howard Cosell was arguably the most colorful and controversial national sports reporter and broadcast personality in American media. His provocative style re-defined sports play-by-play and color commentary from the 1960's through most of the 1980's.

Cosell came into prominence as a blow-by-blow radio-TV reporter of early Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali fights. An attorney by profession, his meteoric rise as a sports journalist paralleled the equally meteoric career of Clay-Ali. During the 1960s & 70s, Cosell called every Ali fight and virtually every major championship boxing match originating in the United States.

The most enduring Cosell imprint was created as a member of the American Broadcasting Company's original Monday Night Football broadcast corps. Teamed with two former football legends, Don Meredith and Frank Gifford, Cosell's colorful and provocative commentaries were both praised and deplored by viewers and critics alike--but were nonetheless effective in establishing the innovative Monday TV football telecasts as an American tradition.

For many years, Cosell also provided color commentary on ABC's Monday Night Baseball, and he toplined numerous other sports commentary shows on both television and radio. He also hosted a prime-time Saturday Night Live variety hour for a limited period on ABC-TV.

His many honors include election, in 1993, to both the American Sportscasters Hall of Fame and the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame, both in 1993.

Sources: International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame