The Info List - Jim McKay

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James Kenneth McManus (September 24, 1921 – June 7, 2008), better known by his professional name of Jim McKay, was an American television sports journalist. McKay is best known for hosting ABC's Wide World of Sports (1961–1998). His introduction for that program has passed into American pop culture. He is also known for television coverage of 12 Olympic Games, and is universally respected for his memorable reporting on the Munich massacre
Munich massacre
at the 1972 Summer Olympics. McKay covered a wide variety of special events, including horse races such as the Kentucky Derby, golf events such as the British Open, and the Indianapolis 500. McKay's son, Sean McManus, a protégé of Roone Arledge, is president of CBS Sports
CBS Sports
and News divisions.[1]


1 Biography

1.1 Early life 1.2 Television

1.2.1 ABC Sports

1.3 Maryland horse racing 1.4 Death

2 Honors 3 References 4 External links

Biography[edit] Early life[edit] McKay was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and raised in the Overbrook section of the city in an Irish American
Irish American
Roman Catholic family. He attended Our Lady of Lourdes Grade School and Saint Joseph's Preparatory School.[2] When McKay was 14, he and his family moved to Baltimore, Maryland, where he attended Loyola Blakefield
Loyola Blakefield
high school. He received a bachelor's degree from Loyola College in Maryland in 1943.[3] During World War II, he served in the United States Navy as the captain of a minesweeper.[4] Television[edit] In 1947, McKay gave up his job as a reporter for The Baltimore
Sun newspapers to join that same organization's new TV station WMAR-TV. His was the first voice ever heard on television in Baltimore, and he remained with the station until joining CBS in New York in 1950 as host of a variety show, called The Real McKay, which necessitated the changing of his on-air surname. Through the 1950s, sports commentary became more and more his primary assignment for CBS. In 1956-57, McKay teamed with Chris Schenkel
Chris Schenkel
to call CBS telecasts of New York Giants football. He was originally tabbed to be the lead broadcaster of the network's coverage of the 1960 Winter Olympics, but had to be replaced by Walter Cronkite
Walter Cronkite
after suffering a mental breakdown. McKay recovered in time to host the 1960 Summer Olympics
1960 Summer Olympics
from the CBS Television studio in Grand Central Terminal.[5] He had a six-episode stint as host of the game show Make the Connection on NBC
in 1955. ABC Sports[edit] He moved on to ABC and was the host of ABC's influential Wide World of Sports for 37 years. McKay was known to motor racing fans as the host of the ABC's annual delayed telecast of the Indianapolis 500. At times McKay worked with race drivers in commentary including triple Formula One
Formula One
World Champion Jackie Stewart, triple Indy 500 winner Bobby Unser, and Sam Posey. While covering the Munich massacre
Munich massacre
at the 1972 Summer Olympics
1972 Summer Olympics
for ABC, McKay took on the job of reporting the events live on his only scheduled day off during the Games, substituting for Chris Schenkel.[4] He was on air for fourteen hours without a break,[4] during a sixteen-hour broadcast.[6] After an unsuccessful rescue attempt of the athletes held hostage, at 3:24 AM German Time, McKay came on the air with this statement:[6][7][8]

When I was a kid my father used to say "Our greatest hopes and our worst fears are seldom realized." Our worst fears have been realized tonight. They have now said there were 11 hostages; two were killed in their rooms this morn-- yesterday morning, nine were killed at the airport tonight. They're all gone. — McKay, 1972

Although McKay received numerous accolades for his reporting of the Munich hostage crisis (including two Emmy
Awards, one for sports and one for news reporting), he stated in a 2003 HBO
documentary about his life and career that he was most proud of a telegram he received from Walter Cronkite
Walter Cronkite
the day after the massacre praising his work. McKay also hosted from the studio the 1980 Winter Olympics
1980 Winter Olympics
in Lake Placid, New York. A happier result came when the U.S. hockey team defeated the Soviet Union in the Miracle on Ice. During the broadcast wrap-up after the game, McKay compared the American upset victory to a group of Canadian college football players defeating the Pittsburgh Steelers (the recent Super Bowl champions at the height of their dynasty). In 1994, he was the studio host for the FIFA World Cup coverage, the first ever held on American soil. McKay also covered the 2006 FIFA World Cup for ABC. In 2002, ABC "loaned" McKay to NBC
to serve as a special correspondent during the Winter Olympic Games
Olympic Games
in Salt Lake City. In 2003, HBO
released a documentary by McKay called Jim McKay: My World in My Words, tracing his career. This film outlines McKay's personal and professional accomplishments. Maryland horse racing[edit] McKay founded Maryland Million Day, a series of twelve races designed to promote Maryland's horse breeding industry. The day-long program has grown to become a major racing event in the state of Maryland, second only to the Preakness Stakes
Preakness Stakes
day at Pimlico Race Course. It has spawned more than twenty other similar events at United States
United States
race tracks such as the Sunshine Millions. Death[edit] McKay died on June 7, 2008, from natural causes at the age of 86. He was survived by his wife Margaret, son Sean, daughter Mary Guba, and three grandchildren. McKay, a horse racing enthusiast who also covered Triple Crown races for ABC Sports, died on the same day as the running of the Belmont Stakes
Belmont Stakes
(won by Da'Tara
that year).[3] Honors[edit]

McKay won numerous awards, including the George Polk Award for his sports and news coverage of the 1972 Munich Olympics. McKay won thirteen Emmy
Awards in his lifetime.[9] 1987: American Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame, inducted along with veteran boxing and horse racing announcer Clem McCarthy. 1988: U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame. 1993: TV Guide
TV Guide
named McKay the best sportscaster of the 1970s.[10] 2001: Paul White Award, Radio Television Digital News Association[11] McKay was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame during its 11th induction.[12] He was selected as the inaugural Dick Schaap Award for Outstanding Journalism recipient in 2002. The NBC
broadcast of the 2008 Summer Olympics opening ceremony
2008 Summer Olympics opening ceremony
was dedicated to McKay, per a message at the closing of the broadcast.[13] The National Collegiate Athletic Association
National Collegiate Athletic Association
has dedicated a scholarship for college athletes for postgraduate study in McKay's honor.[14] The Armory in New York City
New York City
dedicated a High School track meet in his name on December 12, 2008.


^ Kelly, Jacques (October 16, 2009). "Margaret Dempsey McManus dies at 89". The Baltimore
Sun. Tribune Publishing. [permanent dead link] ^ Schudel, Matt (June 8, 2008). " Philadelphia
native Jim McKay
Jim McKay
dies at 86". The Philadelphia
Inquirer. Philadelphia
Media Network. Archived from the original on June 11, 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-08.  ^ a b Sandomir, Richard; Litsky, Frank (June 8, 2008). "Jim McKay, ABC Sportscaster, Dies at 86". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved June 7, 2008.  ^ a b c Hiestand, Michael (June 8, 2008). "Jim McKay's wide world spanned eras". USA Today. Gannett Company.  ^ Sandomir, Richard (July 19, 2009). "Amid Blizzard, Cronkite Helped Make Sports History". The New York Times. The New York Times Company.  ^ a b Hale, Mark. 5 Questions for Jim McKay. AmericanSportscasterOnline.com. ^ Kelly, Christopher (7 January 2006). "Modern Munich lives with its contradictions". Statesman.com. Archived from the original on 7 June 2011.  ^ Abramson, Alan (5 September 2002). "Black September". Dallas Morning News. Archived from the original on 23 October 2005.  ^ "Jim McKay". Bio. 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-26.  ^ TV Guide
TV Guide
April 17-23, 1993. 1993. p. 61.  ^ "Paul White Award". Radio Television Digital News Association. Retrieved 2014-05-27.  ^ Hall of Fame Archives & Honorees. Accessed 26-03-2015. ^ Olympics 2008 Opening Ceremony Intro and Ending **Courtesy of NBC** on YouTube ^ "NCAA Creates Scholarship in Honor of Jim McKay". TVWeek.com. 

External links[edit]

Jim McKay
Jim McKay
at Find a Grave Zurawik, David; Keyser, Tom & Fenton, Justin. " Jim McKay
Jim McKay
dies at 86" The Baltimore
Sun, Sunday, June 8, 2008. Litsky, Frank & Sandomir, Richard. "Jim McKay, Pioneer Sports Broadcaster, Dies at 86" The New York Times, Sunday, June 8, 2008. "Loyola Remembers Jim 'McKay' McManus of the Class of 1943," Loyola College in Maryland, Monday, June 9, 2008. Jim McKay
Jim McKay
on IMDb Ivy League Remembers Jim McKay. Jim McKay
Jim McKay
at the 1972 Munich Olympics Jim McKay
Jim McKay
interview video at the Archive of American Television

Preceded by Chris Schenkel Television voice of the Indianapolis 500 1967–1974 Succeeded by Keith Jackson

Preceded by Keith Jackson Television voice of the Indianapolis 500 1976–1985 Succeeded by Jim Lampley

Preceded by None Chris Schenkel Bryant Gumbel American television prime time anchor, Summer Olympics 1960 1976 1984 Succeeded by Bill Henry Bryant Gumbel Bryant Gumbel

Preceded by Walter Cronkite Curt Gowdy American television prime time anchor, Winter Olympics 1964 1976–1988 Succeeded by Chris Schenkel Tim McCarver
Tim McCarver
and Paula Zahn

Preceded by Ernie Johnson Jr. U.S. World Cup Television Studio Host 1994 Succeeded by Brent Musburger

Preceded by First ABC's Wide World of Sports host 1961–1986 Succeeded by Frank Gifford
Frank Gifford
and Becky Dixon

v t e

Sports Emmy Award
Emmy Award
for Outstanding Host

Host or Commentator (1967–1980, retired)

Jim McKay
Jim McKay
(1967–68) Not awarded (1968–69) Not awarded (1969–70) Don Meredith
Don Meredith
/ Jim McKay
Jim McKay
(1970–71) Not awarded (1971–72) Jim McKay
Jim McKay
(1972–73) Jim McKay
Jim McKay
(1973–74) Jim McKay
Jim McKay
(1974–75) Jim McKay
Jim McKay
(1975–76) Frank Gifford
Frank Gifford
(1976–77) Jack Whitaker (1977–78) Jim McKay
Jim McKay
(1978–79) Jim McKay
Jim McKay

Host or Play–by–Play (1980–1992, retired)

Dick Enberg
Dick Enberg
(1980–81) Jim McKay
Jim McKay
(1981–82) Dick Enberg
Dick Enberg
(1982–83) Not awarded (1983–84) George Michael (1984–85) Not awarded (1985–86) Al Michaels
Al Michaels
(1986–87) Bob Costas
Bob Costas
(1987–88) Bob Costas
Bob Costas
(1988) Al Michaels
Al Michaels
(1989) Dick Enberg
Dick Enberg
(1990) Bob Costas
Bob Costas
(1991) Bob Costas
Bob Costas

v t e

Sports Lifetime Achievement Award

Jim McKay
Jim McKay
(1989) Lindsey Nelson
Lindsey Nelson
(1990) Curt Gowdy (1991) Chris Schenkel
Chris Schenkel
(1992) Pat Summerall
Pat Summerall
(1993) Howard Cosell
Howard Cosell
(1994) Vin Scully
Vin Scully
(1995) Frank Gifford
Frank Gifford
(1996) Jim Simpson (1997) Keith Jackson
Keith Jackson
(1998) Jack Buck
Jack Buck
(1999) Dick Enberg
Dick Enberg
(2000) Herb Granath (2001) Roone Arledge (2002) Ed Sabol and Steve Sabol
Steve Sabol
(2003) Chet Simmons (2004) Bud Greenspan (2005) Don Ohlmeyer (2006) Frank Chirkinian (2007) Dick Ebersol
Dick Ebersol
(2008) John Madden
John Madden
(2009) Al Michaels
Al Michaels
(2010) Jack Whitaker (2011) Not awarded (2012) Ted Turner
Ted Turner
(2013) George Bodenheimer (2014) Verne Lundquist
Verne Lundquist
(2015) Brent Musburger
Brent Musburger

v t e

Television Hall of Fame Class of 1995

Michael Landon Richard Levinson and William Link Jim McKay Bill Moyers Dick Van Dyke Betty White

v t e

Major League Baseball on CBS

Related programs

Major League Baseball Game of the Week
Major League Baseball Game of the Week
(1955–1965; 1990–1993) Major League Baseball on CBS Radio (1927–1941; 1976–1997) College World Series on CBS (1988–2002, broadcasters) The Franchise (2011-2012)

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Orioles Chicago Cubs New York Yankees Philadelphia
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CBS TV Stations

WJZ 13 ( Baltimore
Orioles, 1954) WBZ 4 (Boston Braves, 1948-1949; Boston Red Sox, 1948-1954) WCBS 2 (Brooklyn Dodgers, 1946–1949; New York Yankees, 2002-2004) KPIX 5 (Oakland Athletics, 1975-1981; 1985-1992) WPTZ 3 (later KYW) ( Philadelphia
Athletics, 1947-1954) KDKA 2 (Pittsburgh Pirates, 1958-1995)


Falstaff Brewing Corporation


All-Star Game ALCS NLCS World Series

Key figures

Red Barber Jack Buck Dizzy Dean Connie Desmond Bill Geist Greg Gumbel George Kell Gene Kirby Sean McDonough Don Robertson Dick Stockton Jack Whitaker

Color commentators

Buddy Blattner Frankie Frisch Gabby Hartnett Jim Kaat Tim McCarver Jim McKay Pee Wee Reese Frank Reynolds

Hosts & field reporters

James Brown Jerry Coleman Jim Gray Andrea Joyce Pat O'Brien Lesley Visser

Guest commentators

Johnny Bench Tommy Lasorda Steve Stone

World Series

1947 (Games 3-4) 1948 1949 1950 1990 1991 1992 1993

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Key figures

Chic Anderson Dave Johnson Mike Battaglia Marshall Cassidy Tom Durkin Trevor Denman


Chris Fowler Terry Gannon Kenny Mayne Jim McKay Al Michaels Brent Musburger Chris Schenkel Joe Tessitore


Eddie Arcaro Jerry Bailey Steve Cauthen Catherine Crier Becky Dixon Hank Goldberg Bill Hartack Nick Luck Randy Moss Rick Reilly John Rotz John M. Veitch


Thea Andrews Charlsie Cantey Chris Connelly Howard Cosell Rece Davis Jeannine Edwards Pat Forde Frank Gifford Quint Kessenich Bill Nack Tom Rinaldi Robin Roberts Jeremy Schaap Lynn Swann Lesley Visser Jack Whitaker

Belmont Stakes

1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

Breeders' Cup

2008 2009 2010 2011

Kentucky Derby

1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000

Preakness Stakes

1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000

v t e

Wide World of Sports


Becky Dixon Frank Gifford Jim McKay Julie Moran Robin Roberts Maria Sansone
Maria Sansone
(Wide World of Sports for Kids) John Saunders

Other key personnel

Roone Arledge Dick Ebersol Chet Forte Charles Fox Roger Goodman Bob Goodrich Chuck Howard Edd Kalehoff Don Ohlmeyer Stanley Ralph Ross Edgar Scherick Andy Sidaris


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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 40851891 LCCN: n86025