Best Known For
Jim McKay was an Emmy Award-winning TV journalist and sportscaster known for his Olympics coverage and hosting duties on Wide World of Sports.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
Born on September 24, 1921, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Jim McKay worked in various parts of television journalism before becoming known for his Olympics coverage through the decades, including the tragic Munich games. He was the first sports announcer to win an Emmy Award and earned a dozen more, also working as the host of the iconic, globe-spanning ABC series Wide World of Sports (1961-98). He died on June 7, 2008.
Sportscaster and journalist James McKay was born James Kenneth McManus on September 24, 1921, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The former host of ABC's Wide World of Sports and frequent Olympic commentator, McKay is one of the most famous sportscasters in the history of television. A graduate of Loyola College, he started out as a newspaper reporter for the Baltimore Evening Sun in 1946. The next year McKay became a television personality on Baltimore's first television station WMAR-TV, handling news and sports. He also worked hard behind the scenes as a writer, producer and director.
With his strong journalism skills and appealing on-camera persona, McKay was a rising star, earning his own variety show on CBS in 1950. But soon much of his work for CBS revolved around sports. As a sports commentator, he covered events such as golf tournaments, horse racing and college football. In 1961, McKay made the move to ABC where he hosted Wide World of Sports, created by ABC Sports president Roone Arledge. He served as the program's anchor—which was a type of sports variety show—covering nearly every sport imaginable, from jai alai to weight lifting to skiing. Each weekend, viewers tuned in to see—as McKay said in the show's opening—"the thrill of victory" and "the agony of defeat."
In addition to his duties on the popular Wide World of Sports, McKay also served as an Olympic commentator. He proved himself to be an outstanding journalist and broadcaster during the tragic 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany. After days of covering the games, McKay was called upon to report on one of the saddest events in Olympic history. At the Olympic Village, where the athletes were staying during the games, a group of Israeli athletes had been taken hostage by Palestinian terrorists who had already killed two athletes in their initial siege.
McKay delivered news on the event for more than 16 hours as the tragedy unfolded. After negotiations failed, all of the hostages, five of the terrorists and a West German police officer were killed during an unsuccessful rescue effort. McKay won two Emmy Awards for his work at the games, one for sports coverage and the other for his news reporting.
Throughout his distinguished career, McKay earned many honors, including 13 Emmys—most recently for his 1992 sports special, Athletes and Addiction: It's Not a Game—as well as a Peabody Award in 1989 and the Olympic Order in 1998. He was also inducted into the Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame in 1987 and the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1995. In addition to his on-air accomplishments, McKay is also an author.
profile name: Jim McKay profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
America wouldn't be what it is today without Hollywood, and it certainly wouldn't be the same without its armed forces. Military veterans make the ultimate contribution to society—they put their lives on the line for their country. Since the nation's founding, the dedication and bravery of soldiers has been the a key pillar on which the United States stands. From Revolutionary War heroes to Vietnam veterans, here's a look at famous military veterans.
Famous Military Veterans 211 people in this group
In entertainment, where the line between fiction and reality is often blurry, names are a crucial part of a celebrity's image. Stage names are often chosen to make an actor or musician's name easier to pronounce or remember, or simply to make it sounds more attractive. Here are famous celebrities who have changed their names.
Name Changers 236 people in this group
Famous Libras 568 people in this group