Howard Cosell

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Howard Cosell was widely regarded as one of the best sports journalists America has ever produced. He was noted for his caustic analysis and occasionally arrogant comments on sports, particularly boxing and football. He was born into a Jewish household in North Carolina and raised in New York by his mother. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English and a law degree from New York University, and he practiced law in Manhattan for a period, where he met numerous athletes and actresses. He began sports casting on the radio and was quickly found by ABC radio, who gave him his own show, ‘Speaking of Sports.’ His aptitude and passion for sports commentary convinced ABC to include him into one of their sports television programs, and he was soon sports anchoring on television. He appeared on shows like “Monday Night Football” and narrated many boxing, football, and Olympic games. He is regarded as one of the most well-known American sportscasters and one of the best television personalities of all time.

Childhood and Adolescence

Howard Cosell was born to Isidore and Nellie Cohen in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. His father worked as an accountant for a clothing shop, which caused him to work long hours and be away from his family. His mother, who was considered to be a tough person and philanderer, was mostly responsible for his upbringing. He was reared in New York and received his bachelor’s degree in English literature from New York University. He also graduated from the New York University School of Law with a law degree.

Career of Howard Cosell

Cosell was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1941 after completing his studies. Soon after, the United States entered World War II, and Cosell joined the United States Army Transportation Corps, rising to the rank of major.
Cosell began legally practicing law in Manhattan after the war. The majority of his legal clients were athletes, actresses, and other celebrities. He encountered athletes such as Millie Mays, which is how he became interested in athletics.

He got into sports casting after a recommendation from a buddy. In 1953, he joined a radio show on sports casting, and within three years, ABC had purchased the show, and Cosell was doing it full time. Cosell conducted sports anchoring on WABC-TV in New York from 1961 to 1974, owing to his popularity as a sports radio journalist and giving sports updates for several radio stations around the country.

He was hired by ABC executive sports producer Roone Arledge as a commentator for ‘Monday Night Football’ in 1970. American football was shown on primetime for the first time in more than a decade. He was also covering the Olympics for the ABC Network at the time. He was the chief announcer for boxing in the 1972, 1976, and 1984 Olympics in Munich, Montreal, and Los Angeles (1984).

In 1973, Cosell provided commentary for one of the two ‘Battle of the Sexes’ tennis matches, which pitted Booby Riggs against Billie Jean King. On ABC Network, the commentary was shown on television. Cosell provided the narration for the 1974 boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, which was broadcast on the ABC network. Cosell was just there as a spectator at the time of the fight.

He took over as presenter of the ABC comedy show ‘Saturday Night Live with Howard Cosell’ in 1975. He also presented ‘Battle of the Network Stars’ at the same period. He presented 19 series special episodes. In the 1980s, Cosell provided commentary for the ABC network’s biggest boxing fights, including the Norton-Ali and Ali-Spinks bouts. He also provided color commentary for the Miami Dolphins’ game against the New England Patriots.

In 1988, Cosell had a cameo appearance in the film ‘Johnny Be Good,’ alongside Robert Downey Jr., Anthony Michael Hall, and Uma Thurman. He appeared in films such as ‘Bananas,’ ‘Sleeper,’ and ‘Better Off Dead,’ among others.

Personal History and Legacy

In 1944, Cosell married Mary Edith Abrams ‘Emmy’ Cosell, and the couple produced two daughters, Jill and Hilary Cosell. She died of a heart attack, and his health began to worsen after that. He was diagnosed with cancer and had the lumps in his chest surgically removed. Kidney difficulties, heart ailments, and Parkinson’s disease were later discovered. Cosell died of a heart embolism in 1995, at the age of 77.

Estimated Net Worth

Howard Cosell was an American sports writer with a $5 million net worth. Howard Cosell was born in March 1918 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and died in April 1995. Brassy, blustery, arrogant, rude, pretentious, harsh, conceited, and verbose have been used to define Cosell’s style.


When Cosell portrayed Herb Mul-kick-off Key’s in one of the football games as ‘Look at that little monkey run!’ during commentary in 1973, he was condemned for being racist. Cosell was requested by ABC to announce John Lennon’s death in between his commentary during a game in 1980, which he refused since it would disrupt the audience and players, but he was forced to do it due to the national importance of the story.