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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
Olympic Games
, and is universally respected for his memorable reporting on the Munich massacre
Munich massacre
at the 1972 Summer Olympics
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
Indianapolis 500
. McKay's son, Sean McManus , a protégé of Roone Arledge , is president of CBS Sports and News divisions.

CONTENTS

* 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

EARLY LIFE

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 . When McKay was 14, he and his family moved to Baltimore, Maryland , where he attended Loyola Blakefield high school. He received a bachelor's degree from Loyola College in Maryland in 1943. During World War II
World War II
, he served in the United States Navy as the captain of a minesweeper .

TELEVISION

In 1947, McKay gave up his job as a reporter for the Baltimore
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
1960 Winter Olympics
, but had to be replaced by Walter Cronkite after suffering a mental breakdown . McKay recovered in time to host the 1960 Summer Olympics from the CBS Television studio in Grand Central Terminal
Grand Central Terminal
. He had a six-episode stint as host of the game show Make the Connection on NBC
NBC
in 1955.

ABC Sports

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
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
Chris Schenkel
. He was on air for fourteen hours without a break, during a sixteen-hour broadcast. After an unsuccessful rescue attempt of the athletes held hostage, at 3:24 AM German Time, McKay came on the air with this statement:

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
Emmy
Awards , one for sports and one for news reporting), he stated in a 2003 HBO
HBO
documentary about his life and career that he was most proud of a telegram he received from Walter Cronkite the day after the massacre praising his work.

McKay also hosted from the studio the 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
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
NBC
to serve as a special correspondent during the Winter Olympic Games
Olympic Games
in Salt Lake City . In 2003, HBO
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

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

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).

HONORS

* McKay won numerous awards, including the George Polk Award for his sports and news coverage of the 1972 Munich Olympics . * McKay won thirteen Emmy
Emmy
Awards in his lifetime. * 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. * 2001: Paul White Award, Radio Television Digital News Association

* McKay was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame during its 11th induction. * He was selected as the inaugural Dick Schaap Award for Outstanding Journalism recipient in 2002. * The NBC
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. * The National Collegiate Athletic Association
National Collegiate Athletic Association
has dedicated a scholarship for college athletes for postgraduate study in McKay's honor. * The Armory in New York City
New York City
dedicated a High School track meet in his name on December 12, 2008.

REFERENCES

* ^ Kelly, Jacques (October 16, 2009). "Margaret Dempsey McManus dies at 89". The Baltimore
Baltimore
Sun. * ^ Schudel, Matt (June 8, 2008). "