RIP John Saunders.
ESPN lost another one of their beloved employees today- John Saunders passed away at the age of 61.
The tragic news has just surfaced and the details surrounding his death are still unclear but early reports suggest he died in New York; there was no suspicion of any foul play.
Saunders had been with ESPN for 30 years, hosting The Sports Reporters, anchoring SportsCenter, and covering every sport they threw at him.
ESPN's president, John Skipper, released this statement in the wake of today's news:
"John was an extraordinary talent and his friendly, informative style has been a warm welcome to sports fans for decades," said John Skipper, president of ESPN and co-chairman of Disney Media Networks, in a statement. "His wide range of accomplishments across numerous sports and championship events is among the most impressive this industry has ever seen. More importantly, John was a beloved and devoted family man who cared deeply about people and causes, as evidenced by his long-standing efforts as a passionate board member for The V Foundation for Cancer Research.
"He was one of the most significant and influential members of the ESPN family, as a colleague and mentor, and he will be sorely missed. Our thoughts are with his loved ones at this extremely difficult time."
He is survived by his wife, Wanda, and their two daughters, Aleah and Jenna.
Can hear John Saunders voice in my head. Every time I tuned in for 30 years. Never did me wrong.— Chris Martin Palmer (@ChrisPalmerNBA) August 10, 2016
John Saunders made it look so easy you might not have realized how great he was. 100% class individual. https://t.co/Q4WaAFcVTk— J.A. Adande (@jadande) August 10, 2016
Wow I am devastated with the news about my buddy John Saunders / A gr8 family man / just a fab guy RIP Love You pic.twitter.com/CuBIPu57Rz— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) August 10, 2016
RIP John Saunders. Thanks for being a mentor and class act. I will miss you dearly.— Jalen Rose (@JalenRose) August 10, 2016
John Saunders was a better person than a host, which is saying something. Classy. Professional. I can't even describe his impact on me.— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) August 10, 2016
I'm shocked, saddened. Can't believe one of the best, John Saunders, has passed away at 61. All time great guy. Heartbroken for his family.— Linda Cohn (@lindacohn) August 10, 2016
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of John Saunders. Rest in peace.— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) August 10, 2016
The times I got to be around John Saunders were special. Just different. Classy. Funny. I truly was a fan.— Michelle Beadle (@MichelleDBeadle) August 10, 2016
The voice of John Saunders was one I grew up listening to as a sports fan, and it was always one of my favorites to hear. He’ll be missed.— Tom Fornelli (@TomFornelli) August 10, 2016
So sad about the passing of our colleague John Saunders. He had such an awesome voice and style. Met him as a 20 year old student..so kind— Hot 97 & ESPN's Own (@Rosenbergradio) August 10, 2016
Just last night we had a Vault feature including John Saunders. I smiled at the sight of John, Bob & Boom together. This is gutting news.— Scott Van Pelt (@notthefakeSVP) August 10, 2016