Howard Cosell Breaks the News: John Lennon is Dead (1980)

On Decem­ber 8, 1980, the New Eng­land Patri­ots-Mia­mi Dol­phins game was wind­ing down, the end of anoth­er Mon­day Night Foot­ball game. Then, Howard Cosell, Amer­i­ca’s leg­endary sports­cast­er, broke the news to unsus­pect­ing view­ers: “An unspeak­able tragedy con­firmed to us by ABC News in New York City: John Lennon, out­side of his apart­ment build­ing on the West Side of New York City, the most famous, per­haps, of all of The Bea­t­les, shot twice in the back, rushed to Roo­sevelt Hos­pi­tal, dead on arrival.” Soon enough, more for­mal news reports fol­lowed on the BBC and ABC’s Night­line, and you can still hear what New York­ers heard on the radio the night the music died. Howard Cosell inter­viewed John Lennon on Mon­day Night Foot­ball back in 1974. Revis­it the short con­ver­sa­tion right here.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

John Lennon Sings Bud­dy Hol­ly

John Lennon (and Yoko Ono) on the Dick Cavett Show

I Met the Wal­rus: An Ani­mat­ed Short Film with John Lennon

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