John Saunders, Canadian-born American sports journalist, Died at 61

  Media, Sports

John Peterson Saunders was born on February 2, 1955, and died on August 10, 2016.

He was a Canadian-American sports journalist from Toronto, Ontario.

John worked for ESPN and ABC.

He was an all-star defense man in the Montreal junior leagues.

He had received a scholarship and played hockey at Western Michigan University from 1974–76.

John’s brother, Bernie Saunders, also played hockey at Western Michigan during this time.

Saunders attended high school in Montreal.

Then, he was transferred to Ryerson University in Toronto and played for the Rams from 1976–78.

Following the 1977–78 season, John Saunders was named to the Ontario University Athletic Association All-Star team.

John was the news director for CKNS Radio (Espanola, Ontario, 1978), and sports anchor at CKNY-TV (North Bay, Ontario, 1978–1979) and at ATV News (New Brunswick, 1979–1980).

Saunders also served as the main sports anchor for CITY-TV (Toronto, 1980–1982).

Saunders then relocated to the United States to work as a sports anchor at WMAR-TV (Baltimore,1982–1986).

In 1986, he joined ESPN and was the host of ESPN’s The Sports Reporters, starting with the illness and subsequent death of Dick Schaap in September 2001.

And previously, he co-hosted NFL Primetime from 1987 to 1989.

John was also the studio host for the network’s NHL broadcasts from 1992–93 until 2004, and was the studio host of ABC’s coverage of college football.

Saunders has also hosted ABC’s coverage of baseball under the Baseball Night in America banner and was involved in ESPN’s coverage earlier in his career.

John had also anchored the 1995 World Series.

John was an advocate for juvenile diabetes research and was a founding board member of the Jimmy V Foundation for cancer research, a charity that has raised almost 90 million dollars with 100 percent of the charity funding cancer research.

Saunders reside in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York.

He lived with his wife and children.

John Saunders passed away at 61 years old.