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Forever a legend in sports broadcasting in America
George Allen Summerall was born in Lake City, Florida. He won the Florida State Tennis Championship and twice won all-state basketball honors before becoming a football star at the University of Arkansas, where he received an education degree in 1952. He later earned a master's in Russian history.
Pat was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 1952, but, before playing a single game, was traded to the Chicago Cardinals where, from 1952 to 1957, he was a place-kicker and tight end. He then joined the New York Giants and played in the 1958, 1959 and 1961 NFL Championship games, scoring five points in the legendary 1958 game (23-17 loss to Baltimore) and 10 points in the 1959 game (31-16 loss to Baltimore).
Summerall also had a brief stint with the St. Louis Cardinals baseball organization before beginning his broadcasting career with CBS in 1960, which continued through the 1994 Masters®. He was the network’s signature voice for NFL games, its golf coverage, including the Masters®, the U.S. Open Tennis Championships, the NBA and five Heavyweight Championship Fights. From 1960 to 1971 he also worked for CBS radio and was the sports director of WCBS Radio in New York City, serving as host of the station’s four-hour, six-days-a week morning news program.
In total, Summerall worked 16 Super Bowls on network television — eight with co-host John Madden, more than any other network broadcast team — and ten Super Bowl radio broadcasts. Summerall and Madden's Super Bowl XVI broadcast from 1982 is still the highest-rated sports program of all time.
For his contributions to the sports world, Summerall was inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame on December 14, 2010. During his lifetime, he also received the following honors:
Pat authored two books: Summerall: On and Off the Air, published August 2006 and Giants: What I Learned About Life from Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry, published December 2010. Pat resided with his wife, Cheri reside in Southlake, Texas with their black lab, Amazing Grace, until his death on April 16, 2013.