Bryant Gumbel to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award at Sports Emmys

By Mark Mwachiro 

Legendary broadcaster Bryant Gumbel will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the National Academy of Arts & Sciences (NATAS) during the 44th Annual Sports Emmy Awards set to be held on Monday, May 22, at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Rose Hall in New York.

Gumbel, who currently hosts Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on HBO, is a broadcast TV titan with a career that has intertwined the realms of news and sports.

“I’m humbled by this announcement and grateful to the folks at NATAS for this prestigious award. After 50 years in the business, sharing the same honor with men like Jim McKay, Howard Cosell, and Vin Scully is heady stuff indeed,” Gumbel said.


“Bryant has a storied career, from his start as a sportscaster in Los Angeles to five decades of celebrated work — every bit cementing him as an icon and trailblazer in sports and entertainment,” NATAS president and CEO Adam Sharp said in a statement. “Bryant‘s incredible resume spanning Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, NBC Sports, NBC News, CBS News, PBS, and many other projects has brought dramatic and human news and sports stories to life for audiences throughout his career making him a clear front runner for this distinct honor.”

“For me, the selection of Bryant for the lifetime achievement honor is a wholehearted endorsement of sports journalism. Bryant is a consummate journalist, interviewer, and storyteller, and the sports media landscape is indebted to the high standard Bryant continues to set to this day,” added Sports Emmys chief Justine Gubar.

Gumbel has been at HBO since 1995, hosting Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, and his career has also included stops at NBC News, where he spent over 20 years at the network with 15 of those anchoring the Today show, a record that still stays strong till this day.

He also spent some time at CBS News, where he hosted his prime-time program, Public Eye, and the network’s previous morning news program, The Early Show, before retiring from broadcast network news.

Bryant was the first to announce the September 11 attacks to CBS News viewers.

His time as a broadcast journalist has seen him interview world leaders, covering foreign wars, elections, international summits, presidential inaugurations, and Super Bowl stars. He has anchored and reported from all corners of the globe, including Europe, China, Australia, Russia, Cuba, sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East.

Bryant’s mantle is full of awards ranging from Emmy, Peabody, and Edward R. Murrow awards, as well as the Frederick D. Patterson Award, the Martin Luther King Award from the Congress of Racial Equality, the United Negro College Fund’s highest honor, and three NAACP Image Awards.

For orchestrating and anchoring the Africa broadcasts, Gumbel has been honored with the International Journalism Award from TransAfrica, the Africa’s Future Award from the U.S. Committee for UNICEF, and the leadership award from the African American Institute.

Gumbel has received honorary doctorates from Bates, Xavier, Holy Cross, Providence College, and Clark Atlanta University. He has served on the boards of the United Negro College Fund, the United Way of New York City, Xavier University in New Orleans, and his alma mater.

It’s been quite a career, indeed, and one worth celebrating.