Born In: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Al Michaels is a prominent American television sportscaster, best known for hosting the long-running football show on NBC, titled Monday Night Football. Born in New York, he moved with his family to Los Angeles at the age of 14. Following his high school graduation, he earned a degree in television and radio. He initially worked as a sportscaster for an American basketball team Los Angeles Lakers and later moved to Hawaii and worked as a sports announcer for Hawaii Islanders baseball team and also for various school and college teams in the Hawaii Islands. In 1976, he was hired by the ABC, and by 1977, he began announcing almost all the games covered by the network, such as football, baseball, basketball, ice hockey, track and field events, and so on. He also covered a few NFL games and the Olympic Games as well. His biggest career breakthrough arrived in 1986 when he was hired on the live television program Monday Night Football. He remained associated with the sports show for 20 years, starting from 1986 until 2006. He joined the NBC Network in 2006. Al Michaels has been inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame and has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He has also been a recipient of five Sports Emmy Awards.
Also Known As: Alan Richard Michaels
Spouse/Ex-: Linda Anne Stamaton (m.1966-present)
father: Jay Leonard Michaels, Jay Michaels
mother: Lila Roginsky, Lila Roginsky/Ross, Lila Ross
siblings: David, David Michaels, Susan, Susan Michaels
children: Jennifer Michaels Cohn, Steven Michaels
Born Country: United States
political ideology: Republican
Notable Alumni: Arizona State University
education: Alexander Hamilton High School
awards: 1986 - Emmy Award for Outstanding Sports Personality (Play-by-Play Host)
1989 - Emmy Award for Outstanding Sports Personality (Play-by-Play Host)
1995 - Emmy Award for Outstanding Sports Personality (Play-by-Play Host)
2000 - Emmy Award for Outstanding Sports Personality (Play-by-Play Host)
2006 - Emmy Award for Outstanding Sports Personality (Play-by-Play Host)
1980 - NSSA Award from the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association
1983 - NSSA Award from the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association
1986 - NSSA Award from the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association
1980 - Sportscaster of the Year from the American Sportscasters Association and the Washington Journalism Review
Al Michaels was born Alan Richard Michaels, on November 12, 1944, in Brooklyn, New York, to Lila Ross and Jay Leonard Michaels. He grew up in a Jewish family and was the eldest child among his two younger siblings, a sister named Susan and a brother by the name David.
He was raised in a middle-class household where his father struggled to make the ends meet. Hence, the family moved to Los Angeles when Al Michaels was still in his teenage years. He pursued his education from the Alexander Hamilton High School in New York and completed his remaining high school education in Los Angeles.
He had a keen interest in sports since his childhood and was a huge fan of the baseball team Brooklyn Dodgers. His love for the sports continued in the later years as well. Following his high school graduation, Al enrolled at the Arizona State University, where he pursued degrees in radio and television while also studying journalism. In college, he wrote sports articles for the university’s own private news publication named The State Press.
Additionally, he was also quite active in radio broadcasting in college and announced the football, baseball, and basketball games of his college athletic team, the Sun Devils. By the time he graduated from college, he had decided that he wanted to work in the television.
Al’s first television job was with the Chuck Barris Production in 1965, where he worked as an intern on the show titled The Dating Game. In the show, he was given the job of selecting women to appear on the show.
In 1967, he got his first sportscasting job when he was hired by the professional basketball team Los Angeles Lakers as their public relations employee. In addition, he was serving as a color commentator for the radio broadcasts related to the team. He also had his first play-by-play announcing experience when he worked alongside Chick Hearn, a veteran in the play-by-play announcing. However, his stint with Los Angeles Lakers did not last very long, and he was terminated after four games.
He moved to Honolulu, Hawaii in 1968 and got his first play-by-play job for the baseball team Hawaii Islanders in the Pacific Coast League. Side by side, he also announced for the University of Hawaii’s football and basketball teams along with a number of local high school and college sports teams.
Within a year, he became extremely popular in Hawaii and was awarded a Sportscaster of the Year honor in 1969. In the next year, he also made his fiction television debut when he appeared in the episode titled Run, Johnny, Run of the police procedural drama series titled Hawaii Five-O.
In 1971, he took his next job as a play-by-play sportscaster for the Cincinnati Reds of the Major League Baseball. He also covered the 1972 Winter Olympics hockey games.
In 1973, Al scored a major career breakthrough when he was hired by the NBC as a sportscaster for the NFL finale after the original announcer Bill passed away two days before the game.
In 1974, after announcing a few games for NBC, he moved on to work with the ABC Network in 1975, and the contract between him and ABC was officially signed in 1977.
He was initially a part of ABC Sports as a backup announcer and appeared on the program Monday Night Baseball in 1976. After he was made a full-time announcer at ABC, he began covering almost all the sporting events covered by the ABC Network. For the next three decades, Al was the ABC announcer for several sports, including baseball, ice hockey, college football, college basketball, golf, boxing, figure skating, horse racing, among many others. In addition, he also covered many Olympic Games and Olympic trials.
Two of his most famous games were the ice hockey medal-round game played between the Soviet Union and the United States in 1980, during the Winter Olympics and the attempted third game during the World Series of 1989. He had extensively covered numerous baseball events, and some of the games in those events became iconic.
In 1986, he became the lead play-by-play announcer on Monday Night Football, telecasted on ABC. He stayed on the position for the next 20 years. He also announced many Super Bowl games.
However, quite unexpectedly, the ratings were very low of the coverage of the NBA Finals in 2003, which led ABC to rethink their announcers’ positions. Consequently, Al Michaels was made the lead broadcaster of all NBA games.
During his first season as the lead broadcaster in 2003–2004, Al announced the games all alone from his studio as the only broadcaster, before Doc Rivers was hired to accompany him a few weeks later.
In 2003, he signed an extended contract with ABC and also once said that ABC felt like home to him and he would never want to leave the network. In 2005, it was announced that Monday Night Football was moving from ABC to ESPN. Meanwhile, NBC had acquired the rights to the Sunday Night Football games. His partner John Madden had already announced his departure from ABC, and it was expected that Al would be announcing his departure as well, but Al cleared that he would keep announcing Monday Night Football.
However, things changed a few weeks prior to the broadcast of the Super Bowl XL. It was expected that Al would join NBC, and he also did not deny the possibility. It was confirmed by NBC in February 2006 that Al would be broadcasting football on Sunday nights for NBC with his former ABC partner Madden. This put an end to Al’s 30-year-long association with ABC and 20 years’ run on Monday Night Football.
In 2009, NBC announced that Al was going to serve as the daytime host of the 2010 Winter Olympics for NBC, which were to take place in Canada. It was Al’s first non-NFL event ever since he joined NBC. NBC’s sports chairman said that it was Al himself who had earlier expressed his desire to contribute to the network’s Olympics coverage.
Al served as the daytime co-host in 2012 Summer Olympics which took place in London and in 2016 Summer Olympics which took place in Rio de Janeiro. He also served as a daytime host for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Al has been widely regarded as one of the most well-known sports announcers. For his skills, he has been honored with several awards, such as Sports Emmy Awards, Sportscaster of the Year – Washington Journalism Review, and the Sportscaster of the Year – American Sportscasters Association.
In addition, he was also inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame. He has also been honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Michael has also acted in the film Monday Night Mayhem and the television series titled Arliss.
Al Michaels married Linda in August 1966, and the couple had two children together. His son Steven Michaels is a Hollywood producer, working as the CEO of the Los Angele-based film production company Asylum Entertainment.
In April 2013, Al was arrested for driving under influence and was kept in the police lockup for about five hours. He was sentenced to 80 hours of community service.
In 2014, he published his autobiography titled You Can’t Make This Up: Miracles, Memories, and the Perfect Marriage of Sports and Television, which was The New York Times bestseller.