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HipHollywood is sad to report that ESPN anchor John Saunders has passed away at the age of 61. The news came as shock to many, including those on-air at ESPN who were tasked with reporting the news to viewers.

Hannah Storm appeared visibly distraught while sharing the unfortunate information just hours ago.

“John was an extraordinary talent and his friendly, informative style has been a warm welcome to sports fans for decades,” said John Skipper, president of ESPN and co-chairman of Disney Media Networks, in a statement. “His wide range of accomplishments across numerous sports and championship events is among the most impressive this industry has ever seen. More importantly, John was a beloved and devoted family man who cared deeply about people and causes, as evidenced by his long-standing efforts as a passionate board member for The V Foundation for Cancer Research.

“He was one of the most significant and influential members of the ESPN family, as a colleague and mentor, and he will be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with his loved ones at this extremely difficult time.”

Reactions to the loss have been quick and widespread, with hundreds of people tweeting their condolences: reporters, athletes, fans and musicians included.

John’s cause of death has not yet been released.

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