Bob Wolff (1920 - 2017)
By: Legacy Staff
1 year ago
Bob Wolff, the legendary New York sports broadcaster, died Saturday, July 15, 2017. He was 96.
Rick Wolff, his son, confirmed to CBS News that the sportscaster died “peacefully.”
Wolff is the only broadcaster in history to do play-by-play for the World Series, NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Final, and NFL championship game.
“Bob Wolff’s iconic, Hall of Fame broadcasting career was matched by his class and character,” the New York Yankees said in a team statement. “Beyond his lifetime of professional accomplishments, he was a man of great grace and dignity, serving his country with honor, and proudly calling New York home. Bob was a dear friend of the Yankees organization, and he will be deeply missed.”
Wolff was a sports broadcaster for 78 years. He started out at WDNC radio in 1939 while he was a student at Duke University. Wolff became the voice of the Washington Senators in 1947. He later became the play-by-play announcer for the New York Knicks and the New York Rangers.
Wolff was the announcer for NBC’s baseball game of the week from 1962 until 1965, and he hosted the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show for 33 years.
Wolff was on the mike for some of the greatest moments in sports. He called the only perfect game in World Series history – when the Yankees’ Don Larsen threw one against Brooklyn in 1956 – and called the Baltimore Colts’ overtime victory over the New York Giants in the 1958 NFL title game.
Madison Square Garden and MSG Networks paid tribute in a statement:
“Bob Wolff was not only one of the seminal figures in American sportscasting, but he was a part of the very fabric of Madison Square Garden, the New York Knicks, and the New York Rangers for more than six decades.
“In addition to leaving behind an unmatched body of work, his spirit carries on in hundreds of broadcasters he mentored and the millions of fans he touched. His legacy will live forever.”
Wolff was inducted into the broadcast wing of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the National Sportscasters-Sportswriters Hall of Fame, the Madison Square Garden Walk of Fame, and the National Basketball Hall of Fame. He and Curt Gowdy are the only two sportscasters to be in both the basketball and baseball halls of fame.
Wolff served in the U.S. Navy as a supply officer in the Pacific theater during World War II.
He is survived by Jane Wolff, his wife of 72 years, sons Dr. Robert Wolff and Rick Wolff, daughter Margy Clark, nine grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.
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