Michael Ray Wilbon is better known as Michael Wilbon, the sports broadcaster of ESPN and famous sports columnist for the Washington Post. His most known role is being an analyst for ESPN and being the co-host of Pardon the Interruption with a former sports writer named Tony Kornheiser.
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Michael speaks very glowingly about his blue collar working class parents, “My father, Raymond, was a route salesman for soda companies, ice cream companies, bread companies. We had enough ice cream in the house that we could have opened a Good Humor store. He did not graduate from high school. He was from Washington, Ga., the place where The Color Purple was set. My mother, Cleo, is from Tennessee, about 20 miles from Jackson. She taught for 35 years in the Chicago public schools.”
Michael’s parents were very proud and prideful black parents. They knew that they had to setup their children for the future by emphasizing education, “My parents valued education. They escaped the segregated South because they believed that education was the great equalizer. There was no question that my brother and I were going to college.”
Michael Wilbon graduated from St Ignatius College Preparatory School during the year 1976. After his high school days, he went on to receive a journalism degree during the year 1980 when he attended Northwestern University. Wilbon was living in Maryland at the time which would get him used to his future career in the northeast.
Developing a Love for Sports
Michael gave some insight into how his life was like as he grew up as a young black man in Chicago. Chicago is known for being a major sports city because a lot of their professional teams in hockey, basketball, and football have long histories in their respective sports. Most of their teams have won championships which has developed a strong sports culture in the city.
Michael is known for being a huge sports fan and an expert when it comes to sports facts but he was asked if he also participated in sports when he was growing up, “We played everything that existed. My first love was baseball. [Cubs Hall of Famer] Ernie Banks was a sponsor of our Little League. I pitched and played first base in high school. I was good. [Cubs Hall of Famer] Billy Williams lived in my neighborhood on the far South Side of Chicago, a place called West Chatham. Ernie Banks lived not far away. Wendell Smith [a sportswriter who famously befriended Jackie Robinson] was writing for The Chicago Defender and he was on WGN. I knew him. The South Side was big, but it was also a small place. You knew everyone. That was the good thing about segregation. People weren’t scattered all over the area.”
Sports Broadcasting Career
Michael Wilbon started his sports career while working for the Washington Post during the year 1980. His path started after he finished his internship in the summer of 197. He was in charge of covering college sports, the National Football League, Major League Baseball and the National Basketball Association before he started to work as a full columnist in 1990. The column he was writing was called Post, it dealt with sports culture as well as the action on the field and the court. It appeared on the paper for four times every week. He wrote for the paper until he stopped and started to work at ESPN full time in 2010.
Michael Wilbon has a net worth of over 9 million dollars and this is from an annually salary of over a 1.5 million dollars. While working in his career, he has covered the winter and summer Olympic Games for the Washington Post. He has also provided coverage on each Super Bowl, starting from 1987. He covered The NCAA Final Four starting from 1982. He is a huge basketball fan and has covered each final matchup of the NBA, starting from 1987. He has appeared on many television sports program and he has cameo appearances in many films and TV sitcoms.
In addition to working at The Washington Post and ESPN, he has appeared every week at WRC-TV, a local news station located in DC. He never takes his life for granted because he was able to reach his dreams. In elementary school, he made a wish that he would be able to get a job where he could combine his love of sports and writing. In class, he would draw diagrams of sports plays and try to explain his stories to his teachers. He didn’t like math or science but reading and writing always attracted him.
Michael Wilbon got a heart attack in 2008. The incident happened after he complained about the chest pains that were bothering him. When he was taken to the hospital in Scottsdale, the doctor did an angioplasty. Wilbon has also suffered from being a type-2 diabetic. After his medical issues, he vowed to live a healthier life. His doctor warned him that the major issues were caused by his diet and lifestyle choices.
His wife is Sheryl Wilbon and they have a son together whom they got through a surrogate mother. Their son is Mathew Raymond Wilbon. The couple got married in 2001 and the couple currently lives in the state of Maryland but they also have a home in Arizona. His wife was undergraduate with a degree in Foreign Affairs and Rhetoric and Communications from the University of Virginia. She went on to get a law degree from Duke in 1992.
She worked as a clerk of Justice Leroy Hassel at the Virginia Supreme Court. She worked for Capital Hill but she is now taking care of their son full time and their household. Her career sacrifice gives Michael the ability to maintain his busy schedule. He has a hectic schedule that involves travel from the games to the TV studios. He constantly has to go from DC to New York and sometimes to their second home in Arizona.
Last Modified: Apr 8, 2020