Curt Gowdy

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Curt Gowdy : biography

July 31, 1919 – February 20, 2006

Television commercials

In the 1980s, Gowdy voiced a series of beer commercials for Genesee, an American product brewed by the Genesee Brewing Company in Rochester, New York. Essentially, these ads had an outdoor enthusiast theme, with Curt’s tag line being "Genesee – the great outdoors in a glass".

Awards

In 1970, Gowdy became the first sportscaster to receive the George Foster Peabody Award. The National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association named Gowdy as Massachusetts Sportscaster of the Year five times (1959-63) and National Sportscaster of the Year twice (1966, 1969), and inducted him into its Hall of Fame in 1981. In 1985, he was inducted into the American Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame along with his onetime Yankees partner Mel Allen and Chicago legend Jack Brickhouse. He served as the organization’s vice president and was a member of its Board of Directors. In addition, he was given the Ford C. Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame in , the Pete Rozelle Award from the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993 and a lifetime achievement Emmy in 1992, and was selected to the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame in . Gowdy was president of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame for several years, and that institution’s Curt Gowdy Media Award is presented annually to outstanding basketball writers and broadcasters; he was one of its first two recipients.

Curt Gowdy’s 22 Halls of Fame honors/inductions:

  • 1. Conservation Hall of Fame International – April 16, 1973
  • 2. International Fishing Hall of Fame – 1981
  • 3. Natl. Sportscasters & Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame – 1981
  • 4. Sportswriters & Broadcasters Hall of Fame – 1984
  • 5. National Baseball Hall of Fame – 1984, Ford C. Frick Award recipient
  • 6. American Sportscasters Association Hall of Fame – 1985
  • 7. Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame – 1990, Curt Gowdy Media Award recipient
  • 8. Museum of Broadcasting Hall of Fame – 1990
  • 9. Gold Medal Hall of Fame Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in New England
  • 10. Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame – 1992
  • 11. Pro Football Hall of Fame – 1993, Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award recipient
  • 12. Oklahoma Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame – 1994
  • 13. Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame – 1995
  • 14. American Football League Hall of Fame – 1995
  • 15. University of Wyoming Athletics Hall of Fame – September 25, 1998
  • 16. Florida Sports Hall of Fame – 1999
  • 17. Wyoming Sports Hall of Fame – 2001
  • 18. International Game Fish Association (IGFA) Fishing Hall of Fame – 2003
  • 19. Wyoming Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame – 2003
  • 20. Wyoming Outdoor Hall of Fame – 2004
  • 21. National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame – 2005
  • 22. Rose Bowl Hall of Fame – 2005 inductee (Jan. 3, 2006)

Curt Gowdy State Park

A new state park in Wyoming, opened in 1971, was officially named for Gowdy on March 27, 1972, one of numerous honors bestowed on the native son from the state of Wyoming on "Curt Gowdy Day." The 11,000 acre (44 km²) Curt Gowdy State Park is halfway between his highschool hometown of Cheyenne and his college town of Laramie. Additional land was acquired by the state for the park in 2006. "It has two beautiful lakes, hiking trails, camping, boating, fishing, and beauty", said Gowdy. "It has everything I love. What greater honor can a man receive?"

Gowdy was proud of his Wyoming heritage and loved the outdoors, and said that he was "born with a fly-rod in one hand", and that the sports microphone came a little later. In 2002, he recalled that his father, Edward Curtis Gowdy, who had taught him to hunt and fish, was the best fly-fisherman in the state. "We had free access to prime-time fishing and hunting. The outdoors was a way of life for me. I should have paid them to host The American Sportsman."

Death

Curt Gowdy died at the age of eighty-six at his winter home in Palm Beach, Florida, after an extended battle with leukemia. His funeral procession circled Fenway Park and he was interred in Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Pallbearers included his former NBC baseball analyst and New York Yankees shortstop Tony Kubek. Gowdy was survived by his wife Geraldine (Jerre) née Dawkins,whom he married June 24, 1949, daughter Cheryl Ann, sons Curt, Jr., and Trevor, and five grandchildren.

Curt Gowdy Post Office Building

On October 12, 2006, the United States Postal Service building in Green River, Wyoming, was officially designated as the "Curt Gowdy Post Office Building", honoring the place of Gowdy’s birth. The legislation required for the USPS name change was introduced by Wyoming House Representative Barbara Cubin.