Jack Whitaker entered network sports in 1961 at CBS….where he did play-by-play for the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL….and hosted the anthology series CBS Sports Spectacular among other duties….as he worked for CBS for more than two decades…..where he is probably best remembered for his coverage of golf and horse racing…..as he covered thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown Events….golf’s four major championships….the very first Super Bowl….championship boxing title fights….the National Professional Soccer League in 1967….along with the North American Soccer League a year later….and Major League Baseball…..plus, Jack Whitaker was a studio host for The NFL Today at CBS….which was the network’s NFL pre-game show.
Whitaker was banned from covering the Masters golf tournament for CBS….after tournament chairman Clifford Roberts took offense at his referring to the gallery at Augusta National Golf Club as a “mob” at the end of the 18-hole playoff in 1966…..when six years later he was invited by CBS to attend the 1972 Masters as a spectator….but when CBS Masters broadcaster Henry Longhurst became ill….that is when Whitaker was asked to take over as telecaster…..as he continued to telecast in the years that followed…..and with the death of NBC sportscaster Dick Enberg on December 21, 2017….Whitaker became the only living play-by-play announcer from the first 21 Super Bowls…..while he had been the only living television broadcaster from the first seven Super Bowls since the death of Frank Gifford on August 9, 2015.
Moving to ABC in 1982, Jack Whitaker served as a reporter for both the news and the sports divisions…. who was a part of ABC’s sports team at the 1984 Sarajevo Winter Games and the Los Angeles Summer Olympic Games…..and then again at the 1988 Calgary Winter Games. He also reported sports for ABC’s World News Tonight, Nightline, and 20/20.