Chris Schenkel

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Television Broadcaster

Chris Schenkel

Schenkels served in the United States infantry in the Korean War. Afterward he worked on radio in Richmond, Indiana, then went into television in Providence, Rhode Island.

In 1947, he assumed TV play-by-play duties for Harvard University football. He was hired by CBS-TV in 1952 and began a 13-year run as the television voice of the New York Giants football team.

In 1953 Chris Schenkel took over from Ted Husing as the television announcer for Monday night broadcasts from the Eastern Parkway Arena for the Dumont Television Network.

When the Eastern Parkway Arena fights moved from the Dumont Television Network to the ABC television network in 1954 (to Tuesday nights) they hired ex-boxer Tommy Loughran to call the fights, and Schenkel went to the new "Monday Night Fights" from the St. Nicholas Arena (the first show was May 17, 1954) on Dumont, where he remained until the Monday night shows folded around 1960.

He joined ABC Sports in 1965 where he was closely associated with its "Wide World of Sports" weekly broadcast series. He continued to call many boxing matches, and co-anchored bouts with Howard Cosell.

He was known for a pleasant but informative delivery as well as his gentlemanly demeanor. His broadcasting career spanned six decades.

His many broadcasting highlights include:

  • The first to cover the Masters Tournament (golf) on television, in 1956
  • Calling the 1958 NFL championship game between the Baltimore Colts and New York Giants--the game that may have started the NFL's television popularity.
  • The longtime voice of the Professional Bowlers Association
  • The first to call a college football game coast-to-coast on ABC-TV
  • The first to serve as live sports anchor from the Olympics, in Mexico City in 1968.
  • Calling gymnast Nadia Comaneci's perfect 10 at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal
  • Inducted into 16 halls of fame, including the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters and College and Pro Football halls
  • Won an Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1993.

Schenkel died September 11, 2005, at age 82, at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne, Indiana, after a long battle with emphysema.

Some of the above information is courtesy of the Sports Illustrated.com obituary.