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Howard Cosell

Howard Cosell

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Also Known As: Howard William Cohen Died: April 23, 1995
Born: March 25, 1918 Cause of Death: heart embolism
Birth Place: Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA Profession: TV commentator, sports announcer, TV host, sports columnist, sports writer, attorney

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Born Howard William Cohen, sports journalist Howard Cosell was born in North Carolina before his family relocated to Brooklyn, NY. He graduated from New York University before attending NYU School of Law. After serving in WWII Cosell began to practice union law in New York City. One of his clients was the Little League of New York. An ABC Radio manager invited Cosell to host a show featuring Little League team members , which he did for three years, working for free. Cosell made the decision to leave law for broadcasting and through a sponsorship from a clothing company was able to get on the air on ABC with his program "Speaking of Sports." Cosell soon became a sports anchor at WABC-TV where he championed controversial athletes like Muhammad Ali, John Carlos and Tommie Smith. Cosell had a no nonsense approach to sports reporting and was known as a blunt figure in broadcasting. His frequent catchphrase "I'm just telling it like it is" became the hallmark of his persona. His analytical approach to sports commentary changed the way broadcasts were conducted. With his distinctive voice and speech pattern, he made the medium his own. Cosell's most famous broadcast was when he called George Foreman's...

Born Howard William Cohen, sports journalist Howard Cosell was born in North Carolina before his family relocated to Brooklyn, NY. He graduated from New York University before attending NYU School of Law. After serving in WWII Cosell began to practice union law in New York City. One of his clients was the Little League of New York. An ABC Radio manager invited Cosell to host a show featuring Little League team members , which he did for three years, working for free. Cosell made the decision to leave law for broadcasting and through a sponsorship from a clothing company was able to get on the air on ABC with his program "Speaking of Sports." Cosell soon became a sports anchor at WABC-TV where he championed controversial athletes like Muhammad Ali, John Carlos and Tommie Smith. Cosell had a no nonsense approach to sports reporting and was known as a blunt figure in broadcasting. His frequent catchphrase "I'm just telling it like it is" became the hallmark of his persona. His analytical approach to sports commentary changed the way broadcasts were conducted. With his distinctive voice and speech pattern, he made the medium his own. Cosell's most famous broadcast was when he called George Foreman's victory in his fight against Joe Frazier in Jamaica in 1973. Cosell was reputed to utter the sentence "Ladies and Gentlemen, The Bronx is Burning" during a World Series game at Yankee Stadium 1977, although the release of the games on DVD in the decades since has proven that Cosell never said anything close to that phrase. Cosell did famously interrupt a Monday Night Football game on the night of December 8, 1980 to broadcast the news of John Lennon's murder. However, Cosell's off-the-cuff manner harmed his career irreparably in September 1983 when he referred to Alvin Garrett, a black player on the Washington Redskins, as a "little monkey" during a game. Cosell was removed from "Monday Night Football" at the end of that season and never had a national broadcasting position of that visibility again. A score-settling memoir, I Never Played the Game, effectively burned any bridges he had left, and by the time of his death on April 23, 1995 at the age of 77, he had been largely retired for years.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
 Johnny Be Good (1988)
3.
 Casey at the Bat (1986)
4.
 Casey at the Bat (1986)
5.
6.
 Fighting Back (1980)
7.
9.
 Connection, The (1973)
10.
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Milestones close milestones

:
Hosted "Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell"
1984:
Left TV after quitting "ABC's NFL Monday Night Football"
1973:
TV-movie debut as himself, "The Connection" and "The 500 Pound Jerk"
:
Worked as sports reporter for WABC, New York
1986:
Began writing a column for the "New York Daily News"
1953:
Gave up law practice to join ABC radio as a sports commentator
1953:
Hosted first radio program which had Little League baseball players meeting Major League Players
:
Hosted syndicated talk show, "Speaking of Everything"
1994:
Inducted into the TV Hall of Fame by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
:
Served in the US Army Transportation Corps during WWII
1986:
Began serving as a faculty member of Brown University
1971:
Film debut as himself in "Bananas"
1991:
Operated on to remove a malignant chest tumor
1992:
Retired from ABC radio's daily sportcast, "Speaking of Sports" and half-hour interview program, "Speaking of Everything" at the end of January
1946:
Was an attorney in private practice in New York
1959:
Announcer, "Prime Time Football"
:
TV debut as host of "Sports Focus"
:
Hired as "Monday Night Football" commentator
:
Covered his first Olympics in Munich
:
Hosted "ABC SportsBeat," an investigative sports news show
:
Fired from "Monday Night Football"
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Education

New York University: New York, New York - 1940

Notes

"Howard Cosell is the sort of sportscaster fans love to hate--loud, outrageous, opinionated, but a seasoned pro." --Tim Brooks ("The Complete Directory to Prime Time TV Stars 1946 to the Present", 1987)

Cosell founded Legend Productions, a TV production company responsible for such sports specials as "A Look Behind the Legend" about Babe Ruth, "Run to Daylight" about the Green Bay Packers championship teams of the 1960s and "One Hundred Yards to Glory" about the history of the Grambling College football program.

Cosell served as national chairperson to the National Multiple Sclerosis Foundation in 1976.

He was an editor of the New York University "Law Review".

Cosell has a scholarship in journalism at Brown University that was named in his honor (1986).

Cosell served as the historian for the Friars Club.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Emmy Cosell. Married in 1944; died in 1990.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Isadore Cohen. Accountant.
mother:
Nellie Cohen.
brother:
Hilton Cohen. Older.
daughter:
Jill Cohane. Survived him.
daughter:
Hilary Salomon. Survived him.
grandson:
Justin Cohane. Survived him.
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Bibliography close complete biography

"Great Moments in Sport: A Sport Magazine Anthology" McFadden-Bartell
"Cosell on Cosell" Playboy Press
"Like It Is" Playboy Press
"I Never Played the Game" William Morrow
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