"Laura and I were saddened to learn of the passing of Jim McKay. For a generation of Americans, Jim was more than the much-honored host of Wide World of Sports and ABC's Olympic coverage. He was a talented and eloquent newsman and storyteller whose special gift was his ability to make the viewers at home genuinely care about more than just who won or lost."
"Jim McKay … was first in the field of sports journalism to receive a well-deserved Emmy for his indefatigable reporting of the 1972 Munich Olympics. At that historic event, Jim distinguished himself during his 16 hours of nonstop reporting when terrorists attacked and kidnapped the Israeli athletes. Jim McKay leaves an impressive legacy in the body of work he has contributed to sports broadcasting, and a huge void in the lives of so many who were privileged to call him a friend."
Gov. Martin O'Malley:
"Jim McKay truly served as Maryland's ambassador to the world, not only through his love of sports and competition in our horse industry, but also through his humanity in times of tragedy which comforted people around the world."
Dorothy Hamill, Olympic figure skater:
"Jim McKay, to me, is the Olympics."
Peter G. Angelos:
"He was an innovator whose passion for sports was matched only by his integrity. ...
Even with all of his national and international success, Jim never forgot where he came from, or his Maryland roots. He built the Maryland Million to showcase the best in our state's horse racing industry, and he was a valued partner in the Orioles ownership group."
Peter Ueberroth, United States Olympic Committee chairman:
"Jim is synonymous with the Olympic Games. As host of ABC's Olympic coverage, he brought into our homes the triumphs and struggles of athletes from around the world. Jim told those stories with great skill and care, and did so by taking the time to understand not only the athlete, but the compelling journey that brought them to the Games."
Al Michaels, longtime ABC broadcaster:
"His enthusiasm permeated every event he covered and thus always made it far more interesting. I always thought of him as a favorite teacher. He was so into whatever it was he was doing that he drew you into every event he covered."
Bob Iger, President and chief executive officer of the Walt Disney Company
"Jim was a regular guy who wrote and spoke like a poet. He loved sports. To him, sports defined life - full of drama, adventure, accomplishment and disappointment. The thrill of victory for some, the agony of defeat for others."
Mark Mandel, ABC publicist, who worked with Mr. McKay for more than two decades.
"He brought sports into the living rooms of millions and millions of homes. It was personal. People related to Jim. ... and his true love was horse racing. He loved the sport and contributed in so many different ways."
Dave Johnson, who has known Jim McKay since Johnson broadcast his first Kentucky Derby for ABC in 1978.
"The thing that impressed me about Jim all these years, and we remained close throughout, was that he was the same in private and public life. He was a kind, considerate and generous man. In broadcasting that meant making other people feel welcome."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun