Longtime ESPN broadcaster John Saunders has died, the network announced on Wednesday. He was 61.
Saunders died Wednesday morning. The cause of Saunders’ passing was not immediately known, ESPN spokesperson Mike Soltys told USA TODAY Sports. Saunders, a native of Canada, had worked at ESPN since 1986 and was one of the network’s most visible and respected anchors.
“John was an extraordinary talent and his friendly, informative style has been a warm welcome to sports fans for decades,” ESPN President John Skipper 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.”
The tributes began rolling in moments after Saunders’ death was reported.
Wow I am devastated with the news about my buddy John Saunders / A gr8 family man / just a fab guy RIP Love You pic.twitter.com/CuBIPu57Rz
— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) August 10, 2016
I’m shocked, saddened. Can’t believe one of the best, John Saunders, has passed away at 61. All time great guy. Heartbroken for his family.
— Linda Cohn (@lindacohn) August 10, 2016
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SOURCE: USA Today