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 Saunders: big talent, big laugh, big heart. We had a running joke about once being mistaken for each other. “But you’re not Canadian!”
— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) August 10, 2016
RIP John Saunders
— Lil Wayne WEEZY F (@LilTunechi) August 10, 2016
We’ve lost a great broadcaster and an even better person. RIP John Saunders.
— Dan Shulman (@DShulman_ESPN) August 10, 2016
John Saunders & his beautiful family / Heart goes out to wife Wanda / & his Pride & Joy girls Jenna & Aleah Pls RIP pic.twitter.com/BqnGNCpVld
— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) August 10, 2016
Devastating doesn’t even begin to describe how I’m feeling right now. John Saunders was a wonderful man, ultra pro & father figure.#RIP
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) August 10, 2016
Wow… RIP John Saunders
— Karl-Anthony Towns (@KarlTowns) August 10, 2016
Just last night we had a Vault feature including John Saunders. I smiled at the sight of John, Bob & Boom together. This is gutting news.
— Scott Van Pelt (@notthefakeSVP) August 10, 2016
John Saunders was a better person than a host, which is saying something. Classy. Professional. I can’t even describe his impact on me.
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) August 10, 2016
The times I got to be around John Saunders were special. Just different. Classy. Funny. I truly was a fan.
— Michelle Beadle (@MichelleDBeadle) August 10, 2016
My prayers are with John Saunders’ family, friends and colleagues. He will be missed. Rest In Peace John Saunders.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) August 10, 2016
John’s cause of death has not yet been released.
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