Monday, September 24th, 2018 pm30 12:26pm

John Saunders dies at 61; longtime ESPN anchor

In this 2013 photo provided by ESPN Images. John Saunders poses on the set of "The Sports Reporters" in Studio A in Bristol, Conn. Saunders, who

In this 2013 photo provided by ESPN Images. John Saunders poses on the set of “The Sports Reporters” in Studio A in Bristol, Conn. Saunders, who has hosted “The Sports Reporters” for the last 15 years, has died, the ESPN announced Wednesday. He was 61. (Joe Faraoni/ESPN Images via AP))

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.

Saunders was a founding board member of the Jimmy V Foundation, established for cancer research.

“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.”


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