Philadelphia

Funeral for Legendary Philly Sportscaster Bill Campbell

Friends and family gathered in South Jersey Monday to mourn legendary Philadelphia sports analyst and commentator Bill Campbell who died last week at the age of 91.

A funeral mass was held for Campbell Monday at Christ the King Parish on the 200 block of Windsor Avenue in Haddonfield, New Jersey.

On Sunday, loved ones gathered at the Blake-Doyle Funeral Home on Collings Avenue in Collingswood, New Jersey to remember Campbell.

Born in Atlantic City in 1923, Campbell began his career in broadcasting in 1940 as a spot and general announcer at WFPG Radio in Atlantic City. In the following two years he worked as a general radio announcer and covered minor league baseball for WGAL in Lancaster and as a spot and general announcer for WIP Radio in Philadelphia.

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After serving a tour of duty in the Armed Services, Campbell became Sports Director of WCAU Radio in 1946 which later became NBC10. As Sports Director, Campbell produced and broadcasted a daily sports program and was in charge of scheduling and negotiating college and professional games.

Campbell would eventually become an icon in Philadelphia sports as the play-by-play commentator for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1956 to 1964. He also served as the play-by-play broadcaster for the Phillies from 1962 to 1971 as well as the Philadelphia Warriors and 76ers in basketball.

Campbell also did play-by-play of basketball legend Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game in Hershey, Pennsylvania on March 2, 1962. Chamberlain’s game for Philadelphia, who were named the Warriors at the time, is still an NBA record.

Campbell was named Director of Broadcasting for the Philadelphia 76ers in 1972, a position he held until 1981.

Campbell is perhaps best remembered by Philly sports fans for his radio call of the Eagles’ 1960 NFL Championship win over the Green Bay Packers.

“The game’s over,” Campbell screamed in the famous call. “The game’s over! The Eagles are the champions of the world! LISTEN!”

Campbell received several awards during his prolific career. He was named Broadcaster of the Year by the National Sports Broadcasters Association in 1961, 1962 and 1963. He also received the Philadelphia Sportswriters Award for outstanding service in 1989 and was a member of the Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Sports Halls of Fame.

Campbell also received the Curt Gowdy Broadcaster Award at the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2005.

Merrill Reese, who has been the radio play-by-play commentator for the Eagles since 1977, called Campbell the “greatest in the history of Philadelphia broadcasting.”

“He did every sport in Philadelphia – the Warriors and the Sixers in basketball, the Phillies, the Eagles of course, college basketball, the Penn Relays, hosted talk shows – and he was great. The Dean,” Reese said. “He was also the single greatest interviewer I ever heard.”

Eagles president Don Smolenski called Campbell a “legend.”

"Being the voice of the Phillies, 76ers, and Eagles throughout his career, it was clear that Philadelphia sports were in his blood,” Smolenski said. “His call of the 1960 NFL Championship and of Wilt Chamberlain’s historic 100-point game will never be forgotten. On behalf of the Philadelphia Eagles and our legion of fans, we send our condolences to the Campbell family on their loss."

Donations in Campbell's memory can be made to St. Joseph's University, Athletics Communications, 5600 City Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa. 19131.

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