logo
Getty Images.
Getty Images.

CBS Sportscasting Pioneer Phyllis George Dies at 70 – Facts about the Former Miss America

Odette Odendaal
May 18, 2020
05:18 A.M.
Share this pen
FacebookFacebookTwitterTwitterLinkedInLinkedInEmailEmail

Phyllis George became a trailblazing former Miss America in the field of sportscasting - a world that now mourns her loss along with her family and friends.

Advertisement

She paved the way into the unknown when the opportunity came around for Phyllis George to become the first female sportscaster on "The NFL Today" four years after she got crowned Miss America 1971.

Sadly, on Thursday, Phyllis died in Lexington, Ky, as confirmed by her two children, Pamela, and Lincoln Brown. According to Lincoln and his sister, Phyllis died from a rare type of blood cancer called polycythemia vera.

Phyllis George as featured in a tribute by CBS Sports on May 17, 2020. | Source: YouTube/CBS Sports

Phyllis George as featured in a tribute by CBS Sports on May 17, 2020. | Source: YouTube/CBS Sports

Advertisement

Seventy years old, at the time of her passing, Phyllis reportedly lived with the disease for 35 years. She lived with the disease for longer than expected, but it didn't surprise Lincoln, as he reportedly added:

"It's a testament to her unwavering spirit and determination she made it this long, 10 years longer than any doctor ever thought possible."

Advertisement

By joining CBS's weekly pregame football show, Phyllis found herself co-hosting alongside high profile hosts Irv Cross, Brent Musburger, and commentator Jimmy Snyder, a first in the show's history and it instantly made her the most prominent woman in sportscasting.

She also became the most prominent woman behind Kentucky Fried Chicken, in the sense that she married John Y. Brown Jr. - the man behind the fast-food chain, the father of her two children, and the man who got elected as the governor of Kentucky in 1979.

Advertisement

Before Phyllis became the first lady of the state for four years, she co-hosted "The NFL Today" for three seasons until the network replaced her with another former beauty queen Jayne Kennedy in 1978. However, two years later, Phyllis returned and stayed on the show until 1984.

In a statement, Sean McManus, the chairman of CBS Sports, reportedly said that they are "deeply saddened" at Phyllis' passing, but he also gushed about the "rich" contribution she made to the world of sportscasting.

Advertisement

"Phyllis was not only a key member of a show that remains the gold standard of NFL pregame shows, the NFL Today with Brent, Irv and 'The Greek,'" Sean said. "But also a pioneer for all women in broadcasting."

When she left "The NFL Today," Phyllis replaced Diane Sawyer as the anchor of "The CBS Morning News" alongside Bill Kurtis in 1985, but eight months later, she resigned.

Diane Sawyer became the main focus of two other actresses, who aimed at depicting situations faced by women in the broadcasting world.

Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon star in the series "The Morning Show," and the pair admitted that they followed Diane Sawyer's every move to help them get into character properly.

Advertisement
info
Please fill in your e-mail so we can share with you our top stories!
By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy
Advertisement
Related posts

Hoda Kotb & Joel Schiffman Adopted Two Kids as She Could Not Conceive - They Stay ‘Loving Parents’ Amid Breakup

February 02, 2022

Cloris Leachman Miscarried & Got Call From Husband's A-List Star Mistress at 4 AM: 'I Felt Simply Awful'

May 02, 2022

Cloris Leachman Did "Everything Humanly Possible" to Save Her Son & Failed - Meet Her 5 Grown-up Kids

May 05, 2022

Rock Hudson & Jim Nabors Never Spoke Again after They Were Reportedly Seen Getting Married

March 13, 2022

Jenna Bush Hager Proposed to Her Future Husband a Few Months after the ‘Worst First Date’ - He Said ‘No'

March 29, 2022

Ron Howard Was Most Concerned about His Kids' Values — Inside His Decision to Protect Them

April 26, 2022

Barbara Walters Believed Clint Eastwood Was the One Who Got Away after Their 'Sad Love Story'

February 16, 2022

George H W Bush’s Wife of 76 Years ‘Married the First Man’ She Ever Kissed — Inside Their Marriage

April 09, 2022

‘I Love Lucy’s Vivian Vance Was ‘Afraid of Men’ & Rumored to Be a Lesbian - Meet Her 4 Spouses

February 12, 2022

Woman Given Up for Adoption Nursed Birth Mother for 9 Years without Revealing Who She Was

February 14, 2022

Mick Jagger Seduced His Kids' Nanny & Cheated with Her on His Wife Who Was in the Next Room

March 09, 2022

Michael J Fox Kept His Illness a Secret for Years after His Wife of 3 Decades Cried about His Diagnosis

March 20, 2022

Kathie Lee Gifford Lost Hope of Having Kids after 'Loveless' Marriage & Let 'Nature Takes Its Course'

March 13, 2022

Inside Dick Van Dyke & Decades Younger Wife’s Home Where He Shows off Routine He Says Will Get Him to 100

April 22, 2022