One of the great voices in NFL history passed away Tuesday, as Pat Summerall has died. He was 82.
Summerall passed in his hospital room at Zale Lipshy Hospital where he was recovering from surgery for a broken hip, a family friend confirmed.
The former CBS announcer worked a record 16 Super Bowls in a network career that began in 1962 and ended in 2002.
In the 21 seasons Summerall worked alongside John Madden they grew into America’s most popular sports broadcast team.
Their work for CBS at Super XVI, following the 1981 season, remains the highest-rated sports program of all-time, with more than 49 percent of the nation tuned in.
“I was so lucky I got to work with Pat,” Madden said. “He was so easy to work with. He knew how to use words. For a guy like myself who rambles on and on and doesn’t always make sense, he was sent from heaven.”
Madden was the first broadcaster Fox hired when it outbid CBS for NFL rights beginning in 1994. He insisted that Summerall be the second. Madden didn’t find any opposition.
“Pat Summerall set the standard for play-by-play announcers regardless of sport,” said Ed Goren, former president of Fox Sports, who worked with Summerall at CBS and Fox. “If he was an athlete, you’d call him a team player. Pat always deferred to others in the booth. He worried about the broadcast never about his own role. He had a Hall of Fame career.”