Howard Cosell (Howard William Cohen)

Howard Cosell

Howard Cosell

Television Sportscaster. He gained wide fame and acclaim during his tenure as a football commentator on ABC’s “Monday Night Football”. Born Howard William Cohen in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and raised in Brooklyn, New York, he attended New York University, where he received a degree in law and was admitted to the New York State Bar at the age of 23. He served in the Army during World War II, and opened a law office in Manhattan upon his release, which counted several actors and athletes among his clients, including baseball legend Willie Mays. He also represented the Little League of New York, and this led to his hosting a Saturday morning radio show in which Little Leaguers interviewed major league baseball players. He did the show for three years, and finally retired from practicing law to work as a broadcaster full time. His greatest fame came in the form of ABC’s “Monday Night Football”, when ABC decided to take a chance with putting a sports event on in prime time. It was wildly popular, and for thirteen years Cosell brought his style of “telling it like it is” to football fans every Monday night. He also appeared in the movie “Bananas”, directed by Woody Allen, and appeared twice on the television series “The Odd Couple”. These two episodes were the highest rated in the program’s entire run. In 1978, he was voted as both the most hated sportscaster of all time, and the most loved sportscaster of all time. He was also famous for his friendship with boxing legend Muhammad Ali, and defended Ali when he refused to be inducted into the Army during the Viet Nam war. Cosell retired from ringside broadcasting at boxing games in 1982, which he had done beginning in the 1960s, and left “Monday Night Football” in 1983. He also authored four best-selling books, and hosted a weekly radio program for ABC radio until 1992. In poor health since being diagnosed with cancer in 1991, he died of a heart embolism at New York University’s Hospital for Joint Diseases at age 77.

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  • March, 25, 1918
  • Winston-Salem, North Carolina


  • April, 23, 1995
  • New York, New York

Cause of Death

  • cardiac embolism


  • Westhampton Cemetery
  • Westhampton,New York

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