WWII Vet Jack Whitaker, Who Called the First Super Bowl, Dies at 95

Jack Whitaker
PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 12: Play-by-Play Announcer Super Bowl I Jack Whitaker speaks onstage during the "CBS Sports" panel discussion at the CBS/ShowtimeTelevision Group portion of the 2015 Winter TCA Tour at the Langham Huntington Hotel on January 12, 2016 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Sportscasting icon Jack Whitaker, who announced the very first Super Bowl for CBS Sports among other milestone events during a decades-long career, has died.

He was 95.

The longtime broadcaster died in his sleep Sunday in Devon, Pa., according to CBS News.

Before he got into sports announcing, Whitaker served for the Army during World War II. He was wounded by either an artillery shell or mortar while in service, according to the Desert Sun. He was injured again before being honorably discharged.

Whitaker spent more than two decades working for CBS Sports, where his coverage included football, golf, boxing, soccer, baseball and horse racing. He worked on each of the first 21 Super Bowls, as well as the four PGA majors and Triple Crown races.

Following his lengthy stint with CBS, Whitaker went to ABC Sports, where he covered multiple Olympic Games and also worked as a sports reporter for a number of ABC News programs.

He retired from broadcasting more than a decade ago and entered the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2012.

Before he got into sports announcing, Whitaker served for the Army during World War II. He was wounded by either an artillery shell or mortar while in service, according to the Desert Sun. He was injured again before being honorably discharged.

Whitaker is fondly remembered by Jim Nantz, who currently calls NFL and golf events for CBS Sports.

"When I first met Jack Whitaker in 1986 at Pebble Beach, I felt like I had just been introduced to Ernest Hemingway," Nantz said in a statement to CBS News. "I grew up watching him deliver contemplative and contextual prose with his famous short essays, bringing class and dignity to his industry. He was enormously proud to have called Super Bowl I for CBS and was the last surviving network commentator from that landmark game. I spoke to him this week after hospice came to his home and his mind was still brilliantly sharp right to the end." 

This article is written by Peter Sblendorio from New York Daily News and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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