Hall of Fame sports broadcaster Jack Whitaker, best known to golf fans for his coverage during major championships and Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf, died Sunday of natural causes in Devon, Pennsylvania. He was 95.
Whitaker’s career included covering everything from the first Super Bowl to Secretariat’s Triple Crown. He was the voice of Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf when it was revived in 1994. He also worked The Open Championship and three Walker Cups.
Whitaker worked his first Masters in 1966, when he called the patrons coming up the 18th hole on Sunday a “mob.” He did not work another event at Augusta National until 1972.
Whitaker, a Philadelphia native who was wounded on Omaha Beach three days after the D-Day Invasion, began his broadcast career at WCAU-TV in Philadelphia and spent 22 years for CBS Sports. He worked for ABC from 1982 in the news and sports divisions, and was part of the network’s Olympics coverage in 1984 and 1988.
“I grew up watching him deliver contemplative and contextual prose with his famous short essays, bringing class and dignity to his industry,” Jim Nantz, the lead CBS Sports announcer, said in a statement. “I spoke to him this week after hospice came to his home, and his mind was still brilliantly sharp right to the end.”
Whitaker had been the only living play-by-play announcer from the first 21 Super Bowls.
CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus said Whitaker’s writing, presence on air and humanity were unmatched.
“His unique perspective on sports ranging from horse racing to golf to NFL football was extraordinary,” McManus said.
Information was used from The Associated Press