Last NameSportCountryYear Inducted

Field: Media
Inducted: 1993
Country: United States
Born: March 25, 1918 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Died: April 23, 1995

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

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, who won the Olympic Light-
Heavyweight title in 1956 and soon after captured the World Heavyweight crown. During the 1960s and 1970s, Cosell called every Ali fight and virtually every major championship boxing match originating in the United States.

The most enduring Cosell imprimatur was created as a member of the American Broadcasting Company’s (ABC-TV’s) original Monday Night Football broadcast corps. Teamed with two 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 top-lined numerous other sports commentary shows on both television and radio. He also hosted a Saturday Night Live variety hour for a limited period on ABC Television.

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


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