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Published: Tuesday, 7/24/2007

Bill Flemming, former ABC sportscaster, dies of cancer


PETOSKEY, Mich. Bill Flemming, a longtime ABC sports broadcaster who covered events as varied as the Olympics, college football and cliff diving, has died. He was 80.

Flemming died Friday of prostate cancer in Petoskey, a Lake Michigan town near his summer cottage, his daughter, Lindy Flemming of Larkspur, Calif., said today.

In addition to football and golf play-by-play announcing, Flemming reported on more than 600 events for ABC s Wide World of Sports program.

He followed 11 Olympics and the showdown between chess titans Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky in 1972. He grew up in Ann Arbor, graduated from the University of Michigan and considered the Michigan-Ohio State football matchup one of his choice assignments.

Flemming s other speciality was bringing little-known sports such as parachuting and hurling an Irish game similar to hockey and lacrosse to American audiences.

Flemming entered broadcasting in 1949. He worked for WWJ-TV in Detroit and appeared on NBC s Today show before joining ABC s Wide World in 1961.

A memorial service is scheduled for Aug. 10 at First Presbyterian Church in Harbor Springs.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com

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