Veteran sportscaster John Saunders passed away on Wednesday morning,[August 10.] He was just 61 years old.
Saunders was a mainstay on ESPN for 30 years, having joined the network to anchor SportsCenter in 1986. His studio and play-by-play commentating documented some of history’s biggest invents, with coverage of The World Series, Super Bowl, NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Finals, NCAA Final Four and numerous college football games to his credit. As a Canadian national, Saunders supplied play-by-play as a Toronto Raptors’ broadcaster between 1995 and 2001, but his most significant work was done as a host of both SportsCenter and The Sports Reporters.
Colleagues of the beloved journalist have expressed shock and grievance over his sudden passing, as only a year ago he signed a multi-year deal to remain with the network for the foreseeable future. Beyond the arena of sports, Saunders was noted for his philanthropy, as a founding member of The V Foundation for Cancer Research and an advocate for the research of juvenile diabetes. His cause of death is unknown.
Saunders is survived by his wife, Wanda, and their two daughters Aleah and Jenna.