Earl Gillespie found his calling as a sports announcer while serving as a fighter pilot during World War II, when he’d often re-create Packers-Bears games for his fellow soldiers. Starting in 1947 and continuing for the next 38 years, Gillespie expanded his play-by-play repertoire to include nearly every major sports team in Wisconsin. He’s perhaps best known as the announcer of the Milwaukee Braves from 1953 to 1963, where he announced the 1957 and 1958 World Series.
From 1963 to 1985, Gillespie worked for WITI-TV Channel 6 in Milwaukee, where he broadcast play-by-play action for the Green Bay Packers, Marquette University and the University of Wisconsin. He announced Badger football for 31 years, including the win that ended Wisconsin’s 23-game losing streak in 1969 and the 1981-season-opening win over number one-ranked Michigan, before retiring in 1985. During his broadcasting career he received the Wisconsin Sportscaster of the Year award eight times, and was inducted into the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001.
Remembered by all who knew him as a true Wisconsin sports icon, Gillespie died on December 12, 2003 at the age of 81.