Jack Whitaker, the Hall of Fame broadcaster who called Super Bowl I, has passed away at the age of 95 Sunday morning. The iconic broadcaster died in his sleep at his home in Devon, Pennsylvania.
Whitaker, who was inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2012, worked as a CBS Sports announcer for 22 years. He got his start in the 1950s and brought a unique storytelling style to a wide variety of sports, including football, horse racing, Major League Baseball, the Olympics and golf. Whitaker also worked for ABC after his time with CBS ended.
According to CBS News, a major highlight of Whitaker's career came when he called the 1973 Triple Crown Race where Secretariat proved victorious in a record time that still stands today.
CBS Sports remembers legendary sportscaster Jack Whitaker. pic.twitter.com/0kwIsM9qVD— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) August 18, 2019
"There will never be another Jack Whitaker in sports broadcasting," CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said in a statement. "His amazing writing ability, on-air presence and humanity are unmatched. His unique perspective on sports ranging from horse racing to golf to NFL football was extraordinary. My father and Jack shared an incredible respect for each other and had the warmest of friendships that lasted for decades. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jack's family."
Apart from his broadcasting career, Whitaker served in the United States Army during World War II. According to an article by the Desert Sun, he originally wanted to serve as a member of the Naval Air Corps., but he was denied due to poor eyesight. Whitaker was part of a unit that landed on Omaha Beach three days after the D-Day Invasion in 1944, and he was assigned to the 2nd Armored Division, which was commanded by General George Patton.
Whitaker's military career only lasted from April 1943 until November 1945 due to injuries. He was wounded by an artillery shell or a mortar blast initially but recovered and was sent out for duty once again. However, Whitaker was injured a second time and was made Military Police at division headquarters in Germany before ultimately being honorably discharged.
As he explained in the interview with the Desert Sun, Whitaker believed that "Some angels were looking over me." There were multiple times that he could have lost his life during the war, but Whitaker survived.
He headed from his experiences in World War II and was able to return to college, where he kickstarted his legendary broadcasting career.