The sports world is still reeling from the news of the death of longtime ESPN sports personality John Saunders, who died Wednesday at age 61. Video of Saunders’ friend and colleague Hannah Storm delivering the news from her post at the Rio Olympics has gone viral. A visibly shaken Storm struggled through the announcement of the loss of her friend.
In addition to Storm, Stephen A. Smith of ESPN’s First Take, who is known for tough talk and commentary, broke down when talking about the loss of his friend and colleague.
John Saunders was born Feb. 2, 1955, in Ajax, Ontario. He joined ESPN in 1986, hosting the sports network’s program titled ‘The Sports Reporters.’ At the time of his death, he was the host of ABC’s coverage of college football. Before moving to the U.S. to work as a sports anchor at a Baltimore, Maryland, television station, Saunders was a news director for an Ontario radio station and a sports anchor at an Ontario TV station. Many sports writers, athletes and entertainers Tweeted their sadness about the loss of the sports broadcaster.
Other sports broadcasters like Scott Van Pelt of ESPN‘s One Big Thing offered remembrances of Saunders. Like many of his colleagues, Van Pelt considered Saunders a friend and mentor.
Fox Sports Colin Cowherd talked about Saunders professionalism and excellent skill set for commentating.
Off screen, the veteran broadcaster advocated for juvenile diabetes research. He was also a founding member of the Jimmy V Foundation for cancer research. Saunders is survived by his wife, Wanda, and two daughters, Aleah and Jenna.
Saunders’ obituary can be found at Legacy. com.
This post was curated by Nsenga K. Burton, Ph.D., founder & editor-in-chief of The Burton Wire. Follow her on Twitter @Ntellectual.