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Howard Cosell Left, with Muhammad Ali on WABC radio's "Speaking of Everything with Howard Cosell." Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-120434).

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Cosell, Howard (25 March 1920–23 April 1995), radio and television sportscaster, was born Howard William Cohen in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the son of Polish-Jewish immigrants Isidore (or Isadore) Cohen and Nellie (maiden name unknown). Cosell’s father, an accountant at a credit clothier, moved his family to Brooklyn, New York, where Howard attended public schools. He graduated from Alexander Hamilton High School with an outstanding academic record in 1938. Cosell, who ran track and played varsity basketball, served as the sports editor of the high school newspaper. After graduating from high school, he wanted to become a newspaper reporter, but his parents persuaded him to pursue a law career instead....

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Kuralt, Charles (10 September 1934–04 July 1997), radio and television journalist, was born Charles Bishop Kuralt in Wilmington, North Carolina, the son of Wallace Hamilton Kuralt, a social worker, and Ina Bishop Kuralt, a teacher. An employee of the state, Wallace Kuralt did his work by traveling around eastern North Carolina, and young Charles often accompanied him. As they drove from county to county, Kuralt remembered, his father “would tell me little bits of history” ( ...

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Trout, Robert (15 October 1909–14 November 2000), broadcast journalist, was born Robert Albert Blondheim in Wake County, North Carolina, near Raleigh, the only child of Louis Blondheim and Juliette Mabee Blondheim, farmers. When Trout was nine the family moved to Washington, D.C., where his father opened a shoe store. He attended public schools and was, by his own account, not much interested in his studies. He had no aspirations of becoming a journalist. He did develop an early passion for radio and later recalled, “When I was supposed to be asleep at night, I was often in bed with the light out listening to my little [homemade] crystal set” (interview by Ron Simon, Scheuer Collection). Trout credited radio with awakening a desire in him to know more of the world. He made several attempts to run away from home and spent a summer as a cabin boy on a transatlantic passenger ship....