Legendary broadcaster Keith Jackson dies at age 89

Ruben Hill
January 13, 2018

Keith Jackson (center) receiving a Touchdown Club award in 1978.

My mentor and dear friend, Keith Jackson passed last night surrounded by his family.

Jackson announced he would retire from college football play-by-play after the 1998 season but ended up continuing with ABC Sports.

Keith Jackson, the man whose voice was synonymous with college football for generations of fans, died Friday night at age 89, according to his family. He was best known for his yearly call of the New Year's Rose Bowl game - or, as Jackson put it, the "granddaddy of them all"'.

Known for his homespun Southern witticisms and folksy catchphrases such as "Whoa Nellie!" and "Fummmm-BLE!", Jackson worked for ABC Sports from 1966-2006.

Though Jackson called the Olympics, Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association and the NFL (he was the first play-by-play voice of ABC's "Monday Night Football") over the years, he was best-known for his work in college football. His final game before he retired was the 2006 thriller between USC and Texas at the famed game in Pasadena.

Jackson is from Roperville, Georgia and is a graduate of Washington State University. Jackson covered the Olympics, the NBA, Major League Baseball, auto racing and more. He worked at the ABC affiliate in Seattle, KOMO, for 10 years, including conducting the first live sports broadcast from the Soviet Union to the United States in 1958.

The voice of college football and so much more has left us.

The National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association named him the National Sportscaster of the Year five times, among other honors.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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