Legendary TV sportscaster McKay dead at 87

June 12, 2008 

Award winning journalist, writer and commentator Jim McKay, one of the nation's most well-known sports figures, has died.

McKay may be best known for anchoring coverage of the massacre at the 1972 Olympic games.

He was the voice of 12 Olympics as well as the host of ABC's "Wide World of Sports" from 1961 to 1998.

The Hall of Fame sportscaster died Saturday of natural causes at his farm in Monkton, Md. He was 86.

McKay will be remembered for his coverage of the Munich Olympics in 1972.

Only prepared to give a short report, he stayed on the air for 16 straight hours, updating America on the tragic hostage crisis before somberly revealing all 11 Israelis had been killed.

His last Olympics was in 2002 at Salt Lake City for NBC after he received special permission to get out of his lifetime contract with ABC Sports.

It was "Wide World of Sports" that built ABC Sports into a powerhouse after its debut in 1961.

The age before ESPN and a constant video loop of highlights was simpler then, and viewers tuned in to see what new kind of competition McKay could find.

ABC estimated McKay traveled 4 1/2 million miles on assignment for "Wide World," covering 40 countries.

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