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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jim Lampley
Born (1949-04-08) April 8, 1949 (age 71)
OccupationTelevision journalist
Notable credit(s)
HBO World Championship Boxing anchor and co-host (1988–2018)
Olympic Games reporter and anchor (1984–2008)
Spouse(s)Bree Walker (former)
Debra Schuss

James Lampley (born April 8, 1949) is an American sportscaster, news anchor, film producer, and restaurant owner. He was best known as a blow-by-blow announcer on HBO World Championship Boxing for 30 years. He also had covered a record 14 Olympic Games on U.S. television, most recently the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China.

Early life and career

Lampley was born in Hendersonville, North Carolina. His father died when he was five. His mother immersed him in sports to make up for what she felt his father would have done. He was raised in Hendersonville and Miami, Florida.

He graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1971 with a degree in English and completed some coursework for a Master in Mass Communications also at UNC but never wrote his thesis.

Broadcast network television

ABC Sports

In 1974, while in graduate school, he was chosen along with Don Tollefson in what ABC called a talent hunt. ABC executives thought that Lampley's youthful looks would make him endearing to the college crowds they looked to attract for their college football games. At ABC, he covered such events as Major League Baseball and college basketball games, the 1986 and 1987 Indianapolis 500, the 1977 Monon Bell game between DePauw University and Wabash College, five Olympics, as well as the program Wide World of Sports.

From 1983 to 1985, he was the studio host of ABC broadcasts of the United States Football League (USFL), a spring league that featured stars such as Herschel Walker, Jim Kelly, Steve Young and Reggie White.

On July 4, 1984, with Sam Posey alongside, he called the NASCAR Firecracker 400, and interviewed President Ronald Reagan during the winner's interview with Richard Petty.

In 1985, Lampley along with Al Michaels served as anchors for ABC's coverage of Super Bowl XIX, the first Super Bowl that ABC televised. After the game, Lampley presided over the presentation ceremony for the trophy.


In 1987, Lampley moved to CBS. At CBS, he took over duties as co-anchor on the daily news show in Los Angeles, and also was a correspondent. That same year, he began working for HBO, covering boxing and HBO's annual telecast of Wimbledon. He also attended the Albertville Olympics in 1992, as a news anchor for KCBS-TV.

NBC Sports

In 1992, Lampley moved to NBC, where he helped cover the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, 1993 Ryder Cup, and the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. In 1993, Lampley took over studio hosting duties for Bob Costas on The NFL on NBC. Lampley moved to play-by-play duties for NBC's NFL telecasts the following year and was later replaced by Greg Gumbel. In 1995, he began working at the Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel HBO series. In 1998, he covered the Nagano Olympics and the Goodwill Games for Turner, and in 2000, he covered the Sydney Olympics, again for NBC.

In 2004, Lampley was the daytime anchor for NBC's Olympics coverage for the 2004 Summer Olympics, as well as anchoring the USA Network's coverage of the Games. In 2006, Lampley served as a central correspondent for the 2006 Winter Olympics which aired on the networks of NBC Universal. Torino 2006 was the 13th Olympics Lampley covered, surpassing the record set by America's original voice of the Olympics, Jim McKay. Lampley was again called upon to anchor for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, Lampley's 14th Games. The 2010 Winter Olympics was the first time since the 1980 Summer Olympics that he didn't cover. Al Michaels served as the daytime host of the 2010 Olympics on NBC. Lampley also did not cover the 2012 Summer Olympics either in which Michaels also served as the daytime host.

HBO World Championship Boxing

Fans may best know Lampley for his work on HBO World Championship Boxing show, Boxing After Dark and on the HBO pay-per-view telecast in March 1988 until December 2018 when HBO announced that they would drop the boxing program. As blow by blow announcer, he has called some of boxing's most famous moments, such as Thunder Meets Lightning, when Julio César Chávez saved himself from a decision defeat by knocking out Meldrick Taylor (who was leading the fight on two of the three official scorecards) with only two seconds to go in the last round; James "Buster" Douglas's upset of Mike Tyson for the World Heavyweight championship. Other highlights in his career were the first Riddick Bowe-Andrew Golota fight at Madison Square Garden, where a riot occurred following the "Foul Pole's" disqualification for low blows, and the famous "It happened...IT HAPPENED!" call of George Foreman's miracle comeback against then heavyweight champion Michael Moorer when a straight right ended Moorer's reign.

Lampley also hosted a series called Legendary Nights in 12 installments in honor of HBO's three decades covering boxing in 2004, recounting 12 memorable fights broadcast on HBO in that timespan.

Lampley writes, hosts and executive produces his own studio boxing news show, The Fight Game with Jim Lampley on HBO.

Olympic Coverage

Sports radio

Lampley was the first program host on New York's sports talk radio station WFAN when it began operation on July 1, 1987.

Awards and recognitions

In 1992, he won the Sam Taub Award for excellence in boxing broadcasting journalism.[2]

For his participation in the Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel HBO series, Lampley earned three Emmy awards.[clarification needed][citation needed]

Lampley was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in its 2015 class.[3]

Life outside sports

Film and producing career

Lampley's movie production company, Crystal Spring Productions, has produced a handful of movies, including 2000's Welcome to Hollywood. The company, now known as Atticus Entertainment was executive producer of the HBO documentary series, On Freddie Roach in 2012–13. Since 2012 has produced the continuing series, The Fight Game with Jim Lampley.

In addition to several minor credits as an announcer in films, Lampley portrayed himself in the movies like Rocky Balboa, Southpaw, Creed, Grudge Match, all in all more than a dozen feature film credits. He also appeared in the 2007 sports comedy films Blades of Glory starring Will Ferrell and Jon Heder, and Balls of Fury, with Christopher Walken. Lampley also appeared on television in shows such as Everybody Hates Chris, MacGyver, the Andy Samberg HBO mockumentory, Seven Days in Hell and Eastbound & Down.

Political views

In 2005 after George W. Bush's re-election, Lampley began to avidly express his political views and began posting on The Huffington Post website, where he revealed his belief that George W. Bush stole the 2004 election through vote tampering in Ohio.[4] Also on The Huffington Post, Lampley posted a claim that American deaths in Iraq were several times higher than official reports, and then retracted the claim after finding out his source was fraudulent.[5][6] Lampley also filled in for Ed Schultz as substitute host on his national talk radio program on 5 occasions, heard in 105 markets.[7]

Personal life

Lampley was married to Bree Walker, the first on-air American television network news anchor with ectrodactyly 1990–1999. Lampley and his wife, Debra, live in San Diego, California.[8] They have three daughters, one son, two step-daughters, one step-son and five grandchildren. Lampley is the former owner of two restaurants in Utah, both of which were named the Lakota Restaurant and Bar. Lampley runs a production company which operates under a first-look deal with HBO.


  1. ^ a b c d "NBCUniversal's Olympic Tradition". NBC Sports Group Press Box. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
  2. ^ International Boxing Hall of Fame / BWAA Awards Archived 2008-06-17 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Bowe, Mancini highlight 2015 HOF class". 4 December 2014.
  4. ^ Lampley, Jim (2005-05-10). "The Biggest Story of Our Lives". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017-04-22. (updated 2011-05-25).
  5. ^ Lampley, Jim (2005-06-18). "The Ultimate Deception?". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017-04-22. (updated 2011-05-25).
  6. ^ Lampley, Jim (2005-06-19). "A Poor Choice of Sources". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017-04-22. (updated 2011-05-25).
  7. ^ Missing or empty |title= (help)
  8. ^ "HBO Boxing Bios".

External links

This page was last edited on 6 January 2021, at 23:59
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