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October 02, 2013

Pat Summerall, NFL Star Turned Award-Winning Sportscaster

Over the course of his long and celebrated career, Summerall covered 16 Super Bowls — more than any other broadcaster.

Pat Summerall, who played 10 season as a placekicker for the Detroit Lions, Chicago Cardinals and New York Giants football teams, and went on to become one of the most respected sports broadcasters covering the National Football League, died April 16, 2013, in Dallas, Texas. He was 82.

In news reports at the time, no cause of death was indicated.

Summerall began his football broadcaster at 1962 for CBS, where he worked with Chris Schenkel, Jack Buck and Tom Brookshier. But he is perhaps best known for his pairing with former NFL coach John Madden, which began in 1981, and continued with Fox until Summerall's retirement following the 2001 season.

In all, he called 16 Super Bowls — more than any other announcer.

Beyond football, he also covered the Masters golf tournament and the United States Open tennis tournament.

A native of Lake City, Florida, Summerall endured a traumatic childhood, which included a serious leg injury at birth and family strife.

A doctor's attempt to correct damaged leg resulted in his right leg being shorter than his left, but he overcame the anomaly to excel as a football player at the University of Arkansas and in the professional ranks.

In his 2006 memoir Summerall: On and Off the Air, Summerall wrote eloquently about his athletic career and was forthright about his struggle with alcoholism, which included 1992 treatment at the Betty Ford Clinic and an eventual liver transplant.

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences honored Summerall with a lifetime achievement award in 1994, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame honored him with its Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award.

More about his life and work, including statements from friends and colleagues is available at:

TV News Check

New York Times

Broadcasting & Cable

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