'Wide World of Sports' host Jim McKay dies

Jim McKay, Host of ABC's 'Wide World of Sports' and 12 Olympics Has Died in Maryland
June 7, 2008 9:06:35 AM PDT
Jim McKay, 86, a longtime television sports journalist, has died of natural causes in Maryland, according to a statement from the McKay family.McKay is best known for hosting "ABC's Wide World of Sports" and 12 Olympic Games.

McKay won numerous awards for journalism, including the George Polk Memorial Award and two Emmys -- one for his sports coverage, the other for his news reporting -- for his work at the 1972 Munich Olympics, which were tragically affected by the Black September terrorists' attack on the Israeli athletes in the Olympic Village.

In 1988, McKay was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame.

In 1968, McKay won the first of his 13 Emmy Awards, becoming the first sports commentator to receive that honor.

His 12th Emmy, in 1988, was not for his talents as a broadcaster but as the writer of the openings for ABC Sports' coverage of the 1987 Indianapolis 500, the British Open and the Kentucky Derby. He is the only broadcaster to have won Emmys for sports and news broadcasting and for writing.

In 1990 he was the recipient of the first-ever Lifetime Achievement in Sports award from the Academy. In 1992 he was the recipient of an Emmy Award in the Individual Achievement category for the ABC Sports special, "Athletes and Addiction: It's Not a Game."

In 1989 McKay received the Peabody Award, which is presented annually to recognize the most distinguished and meritorious public service programming rendered each year on radio and television.

McKay was the first American network sports commentator to visit mainland China. In 1991, he visited Cuba to interview Fidel Castro.

McKay was with "ABC's Wide World of Sports" since its inception in April 1961.

Jim McManus (McKay's real name) was born in Philadelphia on September 24, 1921, and moved to Baltimore when he was 15.

He graduated from Loyola College there, then entered the United States Navy as an officer during World War II. At the war's conclusion, he was captain of a minesweeper.


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