Letter to Dave Devoto from Roone Arledge dated 12-18-85
In a long and distinguished career spanning four decades, Arledge played a key role in revolutionizing how news and sporting events are covered and watched around the world.
When Life magazine asked historians, critics and scholars to select the "100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century" in 1990, they put Arledge on that exclusive list. Sports Illustrated magazine ranked Arledge third — behind only Muhammad Ali and Michael Jordan — as one of the 40 individuals who have most significantly altered or elevated the world of sports in the last four decades.
Prior to his tenure at the news division, Arledge was credited with transforming sports broadcasting. While president of ABC Sports from 1968 to 1986, Arledge introduced virtually all state-of-the-art technologies to sports programming, including instant replays, slow motion, advanced graphics, as well as the introduction of journalistic values and personalization of athletes to sports broadcasting.
"Before Roone Arledge there were no replays. There were no slow-mo
machines," said Dick Ebersol, Arledge's protégé who later became the
president of NBC Sports. "There was absolutely no prime-time sports on any
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