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The History of Bay Area Radio

Ernie Smith, Sports Announcer

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Earnest Maynard “Ernie” Smith was one of San Francisco’s early sports announcers. His education at the University of California at Berkeley brought him fame as an athlete, despite the interruption of World War I, where he gained the rank of Captain with the U.S. Army. He held the Pacific Coast swimming championship for five years, and won the national water polo championship in 1920.

Early work as a sports writer introduced him to broadcasting at KYA, and he was heard up and down the coast on the short-lived ABC network and later on NBC. He was heard broadcasting a wide variety of sporting events from San Francisco, including baseball, football, ice hockey, wrestling, boxing, crew races, track meets and even parades. His enthusiastic, detailed descriptions of sporting events won him a loyal following among radio listeners.

Ernie Smith passed away in Sonoma on September 1, 1974, at the age of 80. His obituary, shown below, referenced his many accomplishments in and out of broadcasting.

Exhibit includes audio Hear Ernie Smith on the air!

ernie-smith-obit_1974-09-03

SOURCE: Obituary from United Press International, via Nevada (Reno) State Journal, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 1974.

Voices Out Of The Fog

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All articles copyright © 1997-2006 by John F. Schneider. All rights reserved.
Reprinted with the generous permission of the author.

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