Don Wittman, 71: Sports broadcaster

CBC sports broadcaster Don Wittman died on Saturday. He was 71 years old.

Born in Herbert, Sask., Wittman began his broadcasting career in 1955 as a radio news reporter in Saskatoon at just 19 years old. He joined CBC Winnipeg in 1970, becoming a sports anchor.

Wittman soon became an iconic TV sports broadcaster for the CBC. In his nearly 40 years with the public broadcaster, he covered many events including the Olympics, the CFL and Hockey Night in Canada.

The Jan. 19 edition of Hockey Night in Canada was dedicated to Wittman.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to the Wittman family and dedicate tonight’s coverage to Don,” said Hockey Night host Ron MacLean. “It’s only fitting that Don died on a game day. These were the days he lived for.”

Wittman was diagnosed with melanoma in 2001. Six years later, he discovered his cancer had metastasized. On January 8, 2007, Wittman officially retired from the CBC. Eleven days later, he died in a Winnipeg hospital with his wife, two daughters and his son by his side.

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