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ESPN PIONEER TOM MEES DEAD AT 46
Published August 15, 1996
ESPN sportscaster Tom Mees died yesterday after drowning in a neighbor's pool. Mees, one of the original three announcers to stay with ESPN since its inception in '79, was 46. In the early edition of "SportsCenter," ESPN's Charley Steiner announced the news of Mees' death. Steiner: "This has been a very difficult day for us. A member of our family passed away today. And a member of yours did too. ... Tom was a contemporary of mine, a friend of mine, who was living his dream at the time of death." In a tribute later, ESPN's Keith Olberman added, "Tom Mees was an ESPN original, Tom Mees himself was an original. ... Nothing and no one here will ever be the same without him" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 8/14). ESPN CEO Steve Bornstein said the "entire ESPN family is devastated by this terrible news" (ESPN). CNN's Nick Charles called Mees a "pioneer" ("Sports Tonight," CNN, 8/14). In Baltimore, Milton Kent notes Mees' "absence will be deeply felt" (Baltimore SUN, 8/15). BLUE HEN: Mees was an anchor of "SportsCenter" from '79-93. He then did play-by-play for ESPN2's NHL coverage. Graduating from the Univ. of Delaware in '72, Mees spent six years as sports director of WILM-AM in Wilmington, DE. He then was sports director at WECA-TV in Tallahassee, FL before going to ESPN. He is survived by his wife and two daughters (Darren Everson, WASHINGTON POST, 8/15).