Having been in the industry for more than three decades, Chris Berman remains one of the most recognizable sportscasters and NFL enthusiasts would undoubtedly be familiar with the sports pundit’s charismatic coverage of various sporting events. The award-winning and longtime ESPN anchor was born on May 10, 1955. He is the son of James Kleiner Berman and Peggy Shevell.
Though born in Greenwich, Chris was mostly raised in Irvington, New York. He had a comfortable upbringing as his father was a corporate executive while his mom was a journalist. The sportscaster studied history at the prestigious Brown University and his career has been traced to his college days where he served as the sports director for the school’s radio station.
Chris Berman Has Anchored SportsCenter for ESPN Since the Cable Sports Channel Was Established in 1979
Fresh out of college, Chris Berman launched a career in broadcasting. A sports enthusiast, he first worked as a sports anchor for Hartford’s WVIT-TV where his charismatic reporting could not go unnoticed. He soon caught the attention of bigger networks and in 1979, Chris landed a new job with ESPN, just one month after the network was established.
At ESPN, Berman rose through the ranks serving in different capacities hosting various programs such as the network’s first game show, the 1989 Baseball’s Super Bowl of Sports, Sunday NFL Countdown, as well as the Monday Night Countdown.
A dedicated and passionate journalist, Chris Berman has remained with the network for over four decades with his contract renewed at several intervals. Most notably was in 2010 when it was extended to 2016. Again, after the 2016-17 NFL season, Berman who was headed for retirement returned to ESPN in a more prominent role and with a reduced schedule after signing a new contract in January 2017.
— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) January 5, 2017
He Has Won NSMA’s Sportscaster of the Year Six Times
The seasoned sports journalist’s efforts have been rewarded both financially and otherwise. As he has been in the industry for more than four decades, Chris has unarguably established himself as a household name. The sportscaster who reportedly earns a salary of $5 million, has accumulated a net worth estimated at $20 million.
Also, he has received a good number of awards both at local and international levels. For instance, he has won the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association’s (NSMA) National Sportscaster of the Year award six times. The first was in 1989 and then in 1990, 1993, 1994, 1996, and 2001. Similarly, the American Sportscasters Association has honored him thrice as the Sportscaster of the Year – Studio Host; these were in 1995, 1997, and 1998. That’s not all, Berman has also bagged CabelACE’s Best Cable Sportscaster award thrice (1987, 1988, and 1990).
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the sportscaster has received several other prestigious recognitions. In 2010, he received a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame and bagged the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television gong of the Pro Football Hall of Fame for his remarkable contributions to radio and television in professional football. Earlier in 2007, he received a honorary degree from Brown University and in 2001, Berman won the Maxwell Football Club’s Reds Begnell Award.
The Sportscaster is yet to retire
Even though he is well advanced in age, the veteran sportscaster has refused to take a bow and does not seem to have plan to do so in the nearest future. Since 1979, he has been the anchor of ESPN’s daily sports news television program, SportsCenter, albeit he has been more of an occasional anchor since 1990.
It was sometime in 2017 that he became a panelist on the pregame television program, Monday Night Countdown, a position he still holds.
Part of the things that have endeared the veteran sports journalist to many is his sensational catchphrases such as “whoop”, “back, back, back, back … gone!” and “He…could…go…all…the…way!”.
Chris Berman Got Married to His Late Wife in 1983
Katherine “Kathy” Alexinski was the woman the sportscaster was once married to. A University of Connecticut graduate, Berman’s wife was a fourth-grade teacher who worked hard to overcome illiteracy in the Waterbury area back in the early 1980s.
However, she ditched her teaching job and became a full-time homemaker for her kids in 1985.
After more than 30 years together as man and wife, a devastating tragedy struck the Bermans. On May 9, 2017, Kathy died in a ghastly car accident at the age of 67. According to official reports, Berman’s wife was driving her Lexus SUV on a state road in Woodbury, western Connecticut when she suddenly crashed into another driver identified as Edward Bertulis.
The impact caused Kathy’s car to veer off the road and ended up in a nearby lake, while Edward’s car rammed into a pole. Berman’s wife was pronounced dead at the scene while Bertulis who was reportedly on his way back from his wife’s grave, was rushed to Waterbury Hospital. Unfortunately, the 87-year old later died because of the multiple injuries he sustained.
The Journalist Has Struggled to Cope With the Death of His Wife
Chris Berman heard of Kathy’s demise hours later while he was enjoying a baseball game. The incident has undoubtedly left a big scar in the lives of the Bermans and for now, it remains uncertain if the sports journalist will ever be open to love again.
While not totally ruling off the possibility of any tryst, Chris is currently presumed to be healing well while focusing on his decorated career.
Berman was five years younger than his late wife. Kathy died at age 67 and a day before Chris’s 62nd birthday. The sportscaster has related that Kathy’s passing broke his heart a great deal because she didn’t get to witness their son’s wedding and, he was semi-retired and looking towards spending more time with her and their two kids.
Kathy passed on the 9th of May while their son’s wedding was on the 27th of the same month. Berman and his wife were trying to figure out how to settle into his semi-retirement when she passed, now it’s hard for him to tell what the future holds but he and his kids try to forge on, knowing that Kathy wouldn’t want them to mope around.