Legendary sportscaster Bob Wolff has died at the age of 96 on Saturday night at his home in Nyack, New York. With a career that spanned seven decades, he was known as the longest-working sports broadcaster in history.
Wolff has long been the voice of sports, having narrated the NFL’s championship game, World Series, NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Finals. He began his illustrious career in 1947 with the Washington Senators, and followed that up by working for the New York Knicks and New York Rangers.
During his career, Wolff interviewed baseball’s biggest players, including Babe Ruth, Connie Mack, Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker and Ted Williams.
His recordings documenting some of the greatest names and most memorable moments in sports history, which he meticulously kept organized, were donated to the Library of Congress in 2013. They serve as a lasting testament to the fact that he made championship calls in all four major professional sports.
A resident of South Nyack, New York, Wolff began working at News 12 Long Island in 1986.
He was honored by the baseball and basketball Halls of Fame, is in the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame and was inducted into Madison Square Garden’s Walk of Fame.
His long career wasn’t all about sports; Wolff also commentated the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show for more than 30 years.
He also talked sports with other notables in the booth, including Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Milton Berle, Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis and Richard Nixon.
Wolff’s name rose to the top of Twitter’s national trending list Sunday evening as fans and colleagues paid their respects, after most of them had grown up to the sound of his voice calling play-by-plays.
RIP Bob Wolff – The legendary sports broadcaster has died at age 96. Here's Bob interviewing baseball great Babe Ruth in the 1940's pic.twitter.com/a5EICho8a7
— Baseball by BSmile (@BSmile) July 16, 2017
Madison Square Garden and MSG Networks issued a joint statement that read, “Bob Wolff was not only one of the seminal figures in American sportscasting, but he was a part of the very fabric of Madison Square Garden, the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers for more than six decades. In addition to leaving behind an unmatched body of work, his spirit carries on in hundreds of broadcasters he mentored and the millions of fans he touched. His legacy will live forever.”
Wolff is survived by his wife, Jane, two sons, a daughter, nine grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. One of Wolff’s sons, Rick, is an author and weekend morning radio host at WFAN.
On Sunday, the Yankees sent a statement to CBS News, saying, “Bob Wolff’s iconic, Hall-of-Fame broadcasting career was matched by his class and character. Beyond his lifetime of professional accomplishments, he was a man of great grace and dignity, serving his country with honor, and proudly calling New York home. Bob was a dear friend of the Yankees organization and he will be deeply missed.”
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