April 17, 2013 / 12:07 AM / 7 years ago

"Voice of football" broadcaster Pat Summerall dies

AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Pat Summerall, considered one of the greatest voices in American sports broadcasting history, has died at the age of 82, a spokesman for his former employer Fox Sports said on Tuesday.

Pat Summerall is seen in a July 18, 2003 file photo. Veteran U.S. sports broadcaster Pat Summerall, who was best known for years of NFL football commentary alongside former Oakland Raiders coach John Madden, has died, according to a spokesman for one of his former employers, Fox Sports. REUTERS/Jeff Mitchell

Summerall, best known as the NFL play-by-play broadcaster alongside former Oakland Raiders football coach John Madden, died in Texas, Fox Sports Senior Vice President for Media Relations, Lou D’Ermilio, said.

Inducted into the American Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame in 1999, Summerall worked for CBS, Fox and ESPN during his long and storied career.

“Pat Summerall is the voice of football and always will be.” Madden said in a post on Twitter.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said Summerall, who spent 50 years in the league as a player and broadcaster, “was one of the best friends and greatest contributors that the NFL has known.”

“His majestic voice was treasured by millions of NFL fans for more than four decades,” Goodell said in a statement. “Pat always represented the essence of class and friendship.”

Summerall was a high school sports star in Florida, and a football star at the University of Arkansas. He played in the National Football League, drafted by the Detroit Lions, and then moved to the New York Giants, where he was a kicker.

After his playing career, starting in the early 1960s, he worked as a sports broadcaster for decades. He rose to the top of his profession teaming with Madden, calling 16 Super Bowls, more than any other broadcaster.

In addition to his football commentary, Summerall was well known for broadcasting other sporting events, especially the celebrated Master’s golf tournament.

He first retired in 2002 but was drawn out of retirement briefly in the last decade, and was a frequent speaker around the country.

Reporting by Corrie MacLaggan; Writing by Greg McCune; Editing by Bernard Orr and Bob Burgdorfer

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