Lesley Visser, the only sportscaster to have worked on the network broadcasts of the Final Four, the Super Bowl, the World Series, the NBA Finals, the Triple Crown, the Olympics, the U.S. Open and the World Figure Skating Championship, will be the 2022 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient from the Broadcasters Foundation of America. The award will be presented during the Golden Mike Award gala and fundraiser, which will be held on Monday, March 14, at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.
“Lesley has an extraordinary number of ‘firsts’ in her accomplished and impressive career,” chairman of the Broadcasters Foundation Scott Herman said in a statement. “We’re very proud to recognize her many accomplishments, not only as a pioneering female sportscaster, but as a prominent leader in sports broadcasting, overall.”
Voted the No. 1 Female Sportscaster of All-Time by the National Sportscasters of America, Visser is in seven halls of fame, was named a Muhammad Ali “Daughter of Greatness” and won Billie Jean King's only "Outstanding Journalist Award." She is the first woman to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the first woman to report from a Super Bowl sideline, the first woman on Monday Night Football and the only woman to have presented the Championship Lombardi Trophy at the Super Bowl. She was the first woman NFL analyst in both Radio and TV, and the first female sportscaster to carry the Olympic Torch. Her assignments have taken her from interviewing Yao Ming in Shanghai to the Fall of the Berlin Wall.
In the mid-1970's, Visser was the first woman to cover the NFL as a beat when she wrote for The Boston Globe, at a time when the credentials said, "No Women or Children in the Press Box." She is the first woman to win the Sports Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award and is the first woman to win the BFOA Lifetime Achievement. In her 45-year career, Visser has worked for The Boston Globe, CBS, ABC, ESPN, HBO and Westwood One Radio.
"I am enormously honored to be recognized by the Broadcasters Foundation of America, which is vital to our colleagues who find themselves in need of help during times of unimaginable hardship," Visser said. "It's essential that we acknowledge and support such a charitable endeavor."
Visser joins broadcast luminaries Charles Osgood, George Beasley, Ed McLaughlin, Dick Clark and Bill Hoffman as a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. As previously announced, Hilton H. Howell Jr., board chairman and CEO of Gray Television and Atlantic American Corporation, is receiving the 2022 Golden Mike Award.
The Broadcasters Foundation of America has distributed millions of dollars in aid to broadcasters who have lost their livelihood through a catastrophic event, debilitating disease or unforeseen tragedy. Personal donations can be made to the Foundation’s Guardian Fund. Corporate contributions are accepted through the Angel Initiative, and bequests can be made through the Foundation’s Legacy Society. For more information, please visit www.broadcastersfoundation.org, call 212-373-8250, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. ■
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