NFL broadcaster Pat Summerall dies - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

NFL broadcaster Pat Summerall dies

Pat Summerall. (Source: Riley's Autographs/Wikimedia) Pat Summerall. (Source: Riley's Autographs/Wikimedia)

(RNN) - Pat Summerall, the sports broadcaster with a distinct voice and distinct style who for years had a famous on-air pairing with John Madden, has died.

Summerall, who lived in Southlake, TX, was 82 years old. A family friend said he died in Zale Lipshy Hospital while recovering from hip surgery, according to the Dallas Morning News.

He retired from sports broadcasting in 2002, also the year he worked the last of 16 Super Bowls.

He was inducted into the American Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame in 1999. He was inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame in 1994 and named their National Sportscaster of the Year in 1977.

Prior to his broadcasting career, Summerall played 10 years in the NFL as a placekicker for the Lions, Cardinals and Giants. He was a 1953 graduate of the University of Arkansas, where he also played defensive end and tight end.

He began working with CBS as a color analyst for football games in 1962, as most former players do. However, he shifted to a play-by-play role during the 1974 season and teamed with Tom Brookshier to form a popular duo that provided the voices for three Super Bowls.

He also voiced telecasts of professional tennis and golf events for CBS, including the U.S. Open and the Masters.

But it was with Madden that Summerall really struck a chord with audiences, providing one of the most entertaining and balanced duos in sports broadcasting.

Summerall's mellow voice and steady demeanor well complemented Madden's enthusiastic and off-beat description of the action on the field.

The two broadcast a game together for CBS for the first time in 1979 and became permanent partners two years later. They remained together after moving to FOX in 1994, and their partnership lasted through the 2001 season.

Together, Madden and Summerall called eight Super Bowls. They are regarded among the best, if not the best, broadcast duos in sports history.

Though his on-air delivery was smooth and uncomplicated, his exploits off the field were bumpy on several occasions.

"A great guy. But if you find out who the real person is, give me a call," said Chuck Milton, a producer who worked with Summerall on numerous broadcasts, in a 1987 Sports Illustrated profile.

Summerall was a mystery to many people, even those who knew him for several years. He could just as easily slide from homebody to social butterfly at the drop of a hat.

He had a well-known battle with alcoholism, which eventually led to a stay at the Betty Ford Center in 1992.

Excessive alcohol and painkillers aggravated an ulcer that led to his hospitalization two years earlier.

He talked with the New York Times in 1992 about several events that forced a turning point in his life, including a candid letter from his daughter in which she said she was no longer proud to share the same last name.

"The person I was before doesn't work," Summerall told the Times.

Summerall had a liver transplant in 2004, several years after he had finally become sober from alcohol.

George Allen Summerall was born May 10, 1930 in Lake City, FL. He was a multi-sport standout and later became a member of the state athletic association's hall of fame.

Summerall leaves behind his wife, Cheri. He also had three children - Susan, Jay and Kyle - with his first wife, Kathy, who died of cancer in 2005. The couple divorced 10 years earlier.

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