John Saunders was a popular sports journalist, commentator and announcer, working for the world famous sports TV channel, ESPN (Entertainment and Sports Programming Networks). He was born in Ontario, Ajax. He was married to Wanda Sanders and was one of the two siblings, other being Bernie Saunders. He belonged to the African American ethnicity and holds the nationality of two countries, namely America and Canada.

He initiated his career in the early years of 1970s as a very skilled and versatile sports commentator. As an anchor, he worked with the ESPN for almost over thirty years. John hosted the famous ‘parting shots” sections on the channel for almost fifteen years. His style of executing his broadcast was considered unique and was way different than the traditional commentary expected from the African American community. As a person, he was known to be a very down to earth and professional individual.

During his youth years, Saunders used to be a talented and hard working hockey player and even represented his college in various matches around the country. These also include the Montreal League, where he played as a defence in the junior hockey team of his college. Not only this, he got himself involved in the field of sports broadcasting since he was in school.

Initially, he worked as a Sports announcer in Canada but later, shifted to Baltimore, USA and started working as a junior broadcaster for the popular sports channel, WMAR-TV. However, the biggest boost in his career was yet to come. In the year 1986, he decided to shift to ESPN.

Initially, he worked as an anchor for SportsCenter. Working here, he became one of the most popular names in the field of sports broadcasting and commentary. Eventually, as the result of his hard work and immense talent, his name was started being counted among the most influential voices at the time, like that of Dick Vitale, Bob Ley and Chris Berman. He also hosted the studio of NBA shoot around, working as an announcer for the nationally telecasted WNBA and NBA games. 

Saunders friendly chemistry with his co worker, Dick Vitale is well known in the ESPN community. Both of them worked togethers for many years and covered lots of matches. Chris Berman, who worked along with him throughout his career at ESPN, remembers John as a very humble and confident man, who would never compromise with the quality of his work.

Throughout his three decade career, he covered many matches like college hockey, football, basketball and even the NFL. He executed his job with utmost confidence and grace. He subverted and in some cases, even challenged the generalised stereotypes that are established against the people of his ethnic community.

On august 10, 2016, John, sixty one at the time passed away. The news of his death was announced by ESPN on the very same day itself, although the cause was never announced. John led a very successful family and professional life and had a net worth of almost 30 million American dollars.

Last Modified: Mar 10, 2020

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