Courtesy of Corbis-Bettmann

Howard Cosell 1918-1995

Howard Cosell became arguably the best known and most controversial sports broadcaster in the history of the medium. He helped popularize television sports with his brash style and willingness to broach controversial topics. He attracted a huge audience to ABC's "Monday Night Football," where he was a lightning rod for criticism because of his candor. In 1967, he became a staunch defender of boxer Muhammad Ali after the heavyweight champion was stripped of his title for refusing to be inducted into the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. A television sports coverage pioneer, Cosell launched "ABC SportsBeat" in 1981 as the only network program devoted solely to sports journalism. It went on to win three Emmys.