Last NameSportCountryYear Inducted

Field: Media
Inducted: 2001
Country: United States
Born: July 1, 1907 in Rochester, New York
Died: November 19, 1971

One of the early influential American radio sports broadcasters, Bill Stern was elected to the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame in 1974 and the American Sportscasters Hall of Fame in 1984.

In addition to broadcasting a spectrum of events that included boxing championships, the Olympics, and major college football games, Stern hosted the popular NBC network radio sports series, Sports Newsreel, for many years. From 1940 to 1952, 13 consecutive years, he was the top-rated national sports
commentator in the Radio Daily Magazine poll of U.S. radio editors.

Among Stern’s vast and impressive credits that began to accrue in the mid- 1930s are the broadcast of the first professional baseball game (New York versus St. Louis) and the first televised sports event (a Princeton versus Columbia baseball game).

Stern first became a sports announcer at NBC in 1935, where his entertaining and sometimes controversial Sports Newsreel was popular fare. He left NBC in 1953 to join the ABC network and later became sports director of the Mutual Broadcasting System.
Stern was familiar to moviegoers as the voice that narrated MGM’s News of the Day newsreels for 15 years.

As a college football player at Penn Military College and musician, young Stern organized a jazz orchestra and toured college campuses and movie houses. At the age of 25, he was named
the first stage director of New York City’s newly built Radio City Music Hall.

Two years later, NBC radio hired Stern after a brilliant audition and fired him 48 hours later, following an askew attempt at self-promotion. He took an announcing position at a Louisiana radio
station, but soon after, en route to covering a regional football game, he barely survived an auto accident that cost him one of his legs. NBC decided to give Stern a second chance, and for the
next 17 years he built an empire of mesmerized fans with stylized and occasionally “tall” sports reporting.


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