Longtime ESPN anchor John Saunders died Wednesday, the network announced. Cause of death was not disclosed.
Saunders had been with ESPN since 1986 and did play-by-play for everything from college football to the World Series, from the WNBA to the Stanley Cup playoffs.
“John was an extraordinary talent and his friendly, informative style has been a warm welcome to sports fans for decades,” John Skipper, president of ESPN and co-chairman of Disney Media Networks, said in a statement. “His wide range of accomplishments across numerous sports and championship events is among the most impressive this industry has ever seen. More importantly, John was a beloved and devoted family man who cared deeply about people and causes, as evidenced by his long-standing efforts as a passionate board member for The V Foundation for Cancer Research.”
Hannah Storm broke the news on SportsCenter, tearing up as she talked about “our generous and talented and beloved colleague.”
Saunders is survived by his wife, Wanda, and two daughters, Aleah and Jenna, Storm said.
“He was one of the most significant and influential members of the ESPN family, as a colleague and mentor, and he will be sorely missed,” Skipper wrote. “Our thoughts are with his loved ones at this extremely difficult time.”