On December 20, 1985, sportscaster Howard Cosell retired from television sports broadcasting after 20 years with the American Broadcasting Company.
Cosell started working full time for ABC in 1956 after the network learned about his radio show and his idea to have little league players interview the major league players. He never hesitated to take on some of the most controversial issues in the sporting world. When Mohammad Ali refused to fight in Vietnam and consequently lost his championship belt, Cosell came to his defense.
Cosell was one of the original sports casters for Monday Night Football. He stuck with the program for 14 years. One of his most memorable moments was breaking the news of John Lennon’s death on December 8, 1980 to the world. His popularity grew immensely despite his critics discontent with his nasally New York accent and obvious hairpiece.
Cosell was even given a chance to be on Saturday Night Live and hosted his own comedy variety show on Saturday Nights. His humor helped nachos find their way onto the tables of sports fans all over the country when he was given a plate of them during a broadcast and started inserting the word ‘nacho’ into his game-time deliberations.
After suffering health complications for a majority of the 1990s, Cosell passed away on April 23, 1995 from a heart embolism in New York City.