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Eddie Einhorn

  • Birthplace: Paterson, New Jersey
  • Birthday: January 03
Date of passing: 
February 24, 2016

Eddie Einhorn was a broadcasting executive and pioneer who helped put college basketball on television. He was instrumental in popularizing the sport’s annual tournament known as March Madness.

In the late 1950s, when Einhorn was a law student at Northwestern University in Chicago, he assembled a collection of radio stations to broadcast the National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball tournament. By the early 1960s, he was broadcasting games on television, but it wasn’t until the 1968 UCLA vs. University of Houston game — with star centers Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) and Elvin Hayes — that college basketball would really take off. It came to be known as the Game of the Century, and was the first college basketball game to be televised nationally in primetime.

The contest was shown on Einhorn’s network, TVS (television sports), interrupting regularly scheduled programming. He sold the network in 1973, but continued to run it for several years afterward. In the late 1970s, he served as executive producer of CBS Sports Spectacular, which featured a variety of sporting events. He also appeared as himself in the television documentaries ESPN SportsCentury and The UCLA Dynasty.

Eddie Einhorn was a broadcasting executive and pioneer who helped put college basketball on television. He was instrumental in popularizing the sport’s annual tournament known as March Madness.

In the late 1950s, when Einhorn was a law student at Northwestern University in Chicago, he assembled a collection of radio stations to broadcast the National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball tournament. By the early 1960s, he was broadcasting games on television, but it wasn’t until the 1968 UCLA vs. University of Houston game — with star centers Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) and Elvin Hayes — that college basketball would really take off. It came to be known as the Game of the Century, and was the first college basketball game to be televised nationally in primetime.

The contest was shown on Einhorn’s network, TVS (television sports), interrupting regularly scheduled programming. He sold the network in 1973, but continued to run it for several years afterward. In the late 1970s, he served as executive producer of CBS Sports Spectacular, which featured a variety of sporting events. He also appeared as himself in the television documentaries ESPN SportsCentury and The UCLA Dynasty.

Einhorn later helped negotiate television contracts for Major League Baseball, and helped launch the Baseball Network. He also acted as a television consultant to the United States Olympic Committee and the United States Figure Skating Association.

Additionally, he was team president of the Chicago White Sox from 1981 to 1990. And in 2006, he released the book How March Became Madness, written with Ron Rapoport.

Einhorn died February 24, 2016, in Alpine, New Jersey. He was 80.

 

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