Curt E. Gowdy, Sr. - 1942
World-renowned sports broadcaster
Curt E. Gowdy was born in Green River, Wyoming, where he grew up
learning to hunt and fish from his father, a Union Pacific Railroad
superintendent. After graduating from the University of Wyoming in 1942,
Gowdy served with the U.S. Army Air Force (1942-43). He began his
career working as a radio station broadcaster in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and
then in Oklahoma City (1943-49).
Gowdy announced the play-by-play for New York Yankees baseball games with Mel Allen from 1949 to 1951. From there, he began announcing for Boston Red Sox baseball games (1951-1966). During this time he also broadcast American Football League games, until 1969. He was named Sportscaster of the Year by the National Association of Sportswriters and Sports Broadcasters in both 1965 and 1967.
From 1961 until 1979 Gowdy was employed as a sports broadcaster for NBC-TV. He hosted the show "The American Sportsman" on ABC's Wide World of Sports from 1964 to 1984. In 1979 he was the sports broadcaster for NFL Football Sports Spectacular on CBS-TV.
During his career Curt Gowdy covered 16 World Series, 16 Baseball All-Star games, eight Super Bowls, 12 Rose Bowls, eight Olympic Games, and numerous NCAA Final Fours for all three networks. He is the recipient of the George Foster Peabody Award, which he received in 1970. He has also received six Emmy awards, the Fisherman of the Year Award from the Sport Fishing Institute in Washington (1991), and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 1992.
Gowdy has been admitted to many halls of fame, including the Sports Broadcasters Hall of Fame (1981), the Baseball Hall of Fame (1984), the American Sportscasters Hall of Fame (1985), the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame (1992), and the Pro Football Hall of Fame (1993).
Later in his career Gowdy was self-employed and owned Curt Gowdy Broadcast Inc., and KOWB-AM in Lawrence, Massachusetts. He also owned KOWB radio station in Laramie, Wyoming.
Gowdy died at age 86 in Palm Beach, Florida, on February 20, 2006. The New York Times ran an obituary.
Photos courtesy of UW Athletics and American Heritage Center