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Sports Announcer Keith Jackson Dies At 89

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Keith Jackson has died. Whoa, Nellie, as he so often said. He was the voice of college football for more than 50 years, announcing dozens of Rose Bowls, Sugar Bowls, Gator Bowls and many Olympic Games - even auto racing. Keith Jackson was 89 and called his last game just 12 years ago, the 2006 Rose Bowl, which the Texas Longhorns won over the USC Trojans with just 19 seconds left. It was one of the great games of all time, and Keith Jackson was one of sports' great voices, rich and brassy like a fine trumpet.

He covered the 1972 Olympics where Mark Spitz won seven gold medals, the 1977 World Series in which Reggie Jackson hit three home runs on three pitches for the New York Yankees and 15 Rose Bowls, which he called the granddaddy of them all. By the way, Keith Jackson said whoa, Nellie was a phrase he got from his grandfather. He once told Fox Sports he never hesitated to use an unfamiliar phrase because the worst that could happen is that they'll have to look it up. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.