Chris Berman’s father, 89-year-old James Berman, died yesterday. The father of the ESPN analyst had been in failing health for some time, prompting Chris to take an extended leave from ESPN to care for his dad, reports the Epoch Times on Sept. 23.
James is credited for introducing his now famous sportscaster son to his love of football, with Chris’ well-known call of “He… could… go… all… the… way!”
James Keliner Berman was a corporate vice president with a mechanical engineering company. His mother worked as a reporter for Time magazine, and the pair raised Chris and his brothers in Irvington, New York. When James was 55 years old, he saw Chris land a job with ESPN in 1979. Chris would go on to anchor a number of sports broadcasts as the network slowly grew into the powerhouse it is today.
His father was no doubt proud of Chris and his duties with ESPN, as well as the multiple honors and achievements Chris received, including a star on Hollywood's famous Walk of Fame. In 2008, ESPN’s vice president called Chris the network’s “most important person.”
“He is our most important person,” said Norby Williamson. “He is the face of ESPN.”
On Monday the network tweeted a message of condolences to the Berman family.
“Condolences to the family of Chris Berman on the loss of his father, James. Chris’ father was a great fan of the NFL.” –ESPN Tweet
The network then added: “And he passed that love and enthusiasm on to his sons. Chris thanks everyone for their support and will be back next weekend.”
Trey Wingo had been covering for Chris as host of ESPN’s NFL Countdown.