Edward Nathanson, veteran TV sports director and producer for NBC, died Friday in New York City of complications resulting from lung cancer. He was 72.
An Emmy Award-winning sports director, Nathanson was honored in 1991 as the first recipient of the Director’s Guild of America’s Lifetime Achievement award for Sports Television.
Nathanson’s resume included helming 13 Super Bowls, Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, PGA tour events, NCAA basketball, the 1972 Winter Olympics, the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, several Muhammad Ali championship bouts, the French Tennis Open and 21 consecutive Wimbledon Tennis Championships.
A native of Philadelphia, Nathanson served in the American Field Service during World War II.
Following the war, Nathanson joined CBS Television and later moved over to ABC, where he met his wife, Edith, a producer.
Before turning to full-time sports, Nathanson directed the original “Tonight Show,” “Today,” Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade and several Democratic and Republican conventions, as well as coverage of John F. Kennedy’s and Robert F. Kennedy’s funerals.
A descendant of the famous Gimbel Bros. department store family, Nathanson’s father, Benedict Gimbel Jr., left the retail business to launch the store’s radio station.
In addition to his wife, Nathanson is survived by three children, Laura Nathanson, a VP of the Fox network; Carla Hoffman, formerly with the “David Letterman Show”; and Michael Nathanson, president of MGM Pictures; and seven grandchildren.
A private service in Philadelphia is planned with a memorial service in New York City.