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Larry Birleffi* -- 2001 Outstanding Alumnus
Bachelor of Arts -- 1942 -- English
Best known as the “voice of the Wyoming Cowboys,’ Larry Birleffi has covered more UW sporting events than any other person in Wyoming history.
Born in Hartville and raised in Sunrise, Wyoming, a small pioneer community, Birleffi developed a strong work ethic through the example of his hard working parents. In high school, Birleffi was quarterback of the football team, and he decided the best way he could make a living and stay involved with sports would be to write about them. Birleffi put himself through college by writing for the Laramie newspaper. In 1942, Birleffi earned his B.A. in English. After graduation, he served in World War II, and when Birleffi returned to Wyoming he began his first job as a sports writer for the Wyoming Eagle in Cheyenne.
Birleffi’s journalism career, spanning 59 years and all communication media, continues today. A well-known sports writer and editor for the Cheyenne Tribune Eagle for several years, Birleffi began radio announcing in 1949 for KFBC in Cheyenne. His love of UW sports was apparent as he continued his career in television in the early 1950s. Birleffi has enjoyed several national broadcasting assignments, including college football games, national rodeo finals, major horse racing events, and Wide World of Sports. Although Birleffi received several offers to work in national television and radio, he chose to follow his passion—the Wyoming sports scene.
Birleffi is a member and past president of the Wyoming Broadcasters Association. In 1992, the Larry Birleffi Press Box at War Memorial Stadium was dedicated, and he once received the Cowboy Joe Club’s White Hat Award. A civic minded citizen, Birleffi is a member of the Wyoming Jaycees, the Wyoming Heart Association, the Wyoming Cancer Association, and the Wyoming Heritage Foundation Board of Advisors.
“Larry Birelffi is indeed a gentleman cowboy and a scholar,” said Governor Jim Geringer. “His service to community, country, and nation brings honor and credit to Wyoming, our university, and to the College of Arts and Sciences.”
*In loving memory.