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Sportscaster, Keith Jackson, was born October 18, 1928 on a farm outside Carrollton, Georgia. Jackson is a former sportscaster, known for his long career with ABC Sports television, his coverage of college football as well as his style of folksy, down-to-earth commentary and deep voice.
Though best known for his college football broadcasts, Keith Jackson announced numerous other sports for ABC throughout his career, including Major League Baseball, NBA basketball, boxing, auto racing, and the Olympic Games. He briefly worked college basketball with Dick Vitale. Jackson also served as the pregame half time postgame anchor for ABC's coverage of Super Bowl XXII in 1988.
In 1999, the National Football Foundation awarded Jackson the Gold Medal Award, its highest honor. The same year he was inducted into the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame for his many years of contribution to "The Granddaddy of Them All". The Edward R. Murrow School of Communication at Washington State University awarded their alumnus with the Murrow Award for top leaders in the communication industry in 1999; Jackson was a charter member of the WSU Foundation, founded in 1979, provided scholarship money to the Murrow School and chaired the fund-raising drive for the school's alumni center. On April 24, 1995, he was inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame, having won its National Sportscaster of the Year five successive times. The American Football Coaches Association awarded him its Amos Alonzo Stagg Award in 1993 as an individual "whose services have been outstanding in the advancement of the best interests of football." He was the first sports announcer to receiver the Stagg award.
Longtime Penn State Head Coach Joe Paterno said of Jackson: "I don't think you could say that there is any one person who is not a coach, athletic director or administrator who has done more for college football than Keith Jackson". Michigan Head Coach Lloyd Carr described Jackson as "a symbol of all the good things in college football".
Keith Jackson has appeared in numerous commercials, especially in the latter stages of his career. He once parodied his broadcast persona for a Bud Light beer commercial, in which he played the officiating minister at a wedding, finishing with his famous line, "Whoa, Nellie!" He also appeared in commercials for Shoney's, a chain of family-style restaurants well-known in the Southeast, especially in his native Georgia. Most recently, Jackson has appeared in "The Legend of Gatorade" ads, which he humorously alluded to during his live coverage of the 2006 Rose Bowl. In 2006, he also was shown in a commercial for Ice Breakers' Ice Cubes with Hilary Duff, Haylie Duff, and Joey Lawrence, again contributing his famous "Whoa, Nellie!"
Keith Jackson is a long-time resident of California. He and his wife Turi Ann, have three grown children and homes in the Los Angeles, California area and Pender Harbour, British Columbia, Canada.