Certain journalists define their generation. I see Jim McKay as one of these. Like Walter Cronkite announcing Kennedy’s assassination, or the journalists on the ground on September 11th, McKay’s voice remains etched in the minds of everyone who followed the tragic events of the Munich Olympics in 1972 :
When I was a kid, my father used to say Our greatest hopes and our worst fears are seldom realized. Our worst fears have been realized tonight. […]
They’re all gone.
And now, so is Jim McKay.
The father of David Berger, the American-born wrestler who was among the Israeli Olympians murdered at Munich, described McKay as a Mensch. It can only be a testament to the quality and humanity of his coverage that he would be held in such high esteem by a father whose greatest fear had been confirmed through his newscast.
(1921 – 2008)