Bryant Gumbel is the first black journalist to earn ‘Sports Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award’

Ben Ebuka April 12, 2023
Bryant Gumbel. Photo credit: Peabody Awards

Sports Emmy is set to honor veteran American journalist, Bryant Gumbel, for his outstanding career – spanning over 50 years in the length and breadth of America’s broadcasting industry. The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) announced on March 28, 2023, that the award-winning journalist will receive the Sports Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award at the upcoming 44th Annual Sports Emmy Awards ceremony on Monday, May 22, at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall in New York.

“I’m humbled by this announcement and grateful to the folks at NATAS for this prestigious award. After 50 years in the business, sharing the same honor with men like Jim McKay, Howard Cosell, and Vin Scully is heady stuff indeed,” said Gumbel.

The Sports Emmy Awards are part of the Emmy Awards for artistic and technical merit for the American broadcasting industry bestowed by the NATAS, which is presented in recognition of broadcasting excellence in sports television programming.

The veteran journalist will make history as the first black journalist to be honored with the Sports Emmy Award.

“Bryant has a storied career, from his start as a sportscaster in Los Angeles to five decades of celebrated work — every bit cementing him as an icon and trailblazer in sports and entertainment,” said Adam Sharp, President & CEO of NATAS. “Bryant‘s incredible resume spanning Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, NBC Sports, NBC News, CBS News, and many other projects have brought dramatic and human news and sports stories to life for audiences throughout his career, making him a clear front runner for this distinct honor.”

Gumbel, one of America’s most accomplished television broadcasters, has enjoyed an acclaimed career traversing America’s top media platforms, including NBC, CBS, and HBO. He started his career with KNBC in Los Angeles as a sports anchor and moved to NBC Sports in 1975, where he worked for more than 20 years. He hosted NBC’s “Today” show for 15 years.

He has hosted HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel,” since 1995 – a program that airs monthly and has earned 36 sports Emmys in its 26-season run. “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” is his longest-running show to date. He also worked at CBS News, where he hosted “The Early Show, and his own prime-time program – Public Eye, before retiring from the television broadcast.

His remarkable career includes many records, including the longest-running host (15 years) of NBC’s “Today” show. Gumbel has interviewed sports legends, superpower leaders, and Super Bowl heroes, and has reported on a variety of headline issues. He has covered foreign wars, elections, international summits, presidential inaugurations, and events from every corner of the globe.

Aside from the Emmy Award, Bryant has received many accolades, including the Frederick D. Patterson Award, the Martin Luther King Award from the Congress of Racial Equality, the United Negro College Fund’s highest honor, three NAACP Image Awards, a Peabody, the Edward R. Murrow Award, the International Journalism Award from TransAfrica, Africa’s Future Award from the U.S. Committee for UNICEF, and the leadership award from the African American Institute.

He received honorary doctorates from Bates, Xavier, Holy Cross, Providence College, and Clark Atlanta University. He has served on the boards of the United Negro College Fund, the United Way of New York City, Xavier University in New Orleans, and his alma mater.

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: April 12, 2023

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