Keith Jackson, Voice of College Football, Dies at 89


Keith Jackson in 1999. He prided himself on being concise and was loath to steal the spotlight from the football players. S.E. Mckee/Associated Press

Keith Jackson, ABC’s signature voice of college football, remembered for his love of the game’s pageantry and his Georgia-rooted, country boy flourishes on autumn Saturdays through five decades, died on Friday. He was 89.

In a statement on Twitter on Saturday, Robert A. Iger, the chief executive of the Walt Disney Company, which owns ABC, confirmed Mr. Jackson’s death.

“For generations of fans, Keith was college football,” Mr. Iger said.

Mr. Jackson worked at 10 Summer and Winter Olympics and on “ABC’s Wide World of Sports.” He was the play-by-play man for the inaugural season of N.F.L. “Monday Night Football” and was at the microphone for baseball, pro and college basketball, and auto racing.

But he was best known for ranging the collegiate football map, from Ann Arbor to Tuscaloosa, from Columbus to Happy Valley, the home of Penn State.

“You always know it’s a big game when Keith’s there,” Joe Paterno, the Penn State coach, once said.

Source: The New York Times