Marty Glickman

Marty Glickman

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Marty Glickman
Event sprints
Born August 14, 1917 at Bronx, NY
Died January 3, 2001
College Syracuse

Martin "Marty" Glickman (1917—2001) was a Jewish American track and field athlete and sports announcer, who was selected to participate in the 1936 Summer Olympics.


Track career spoiled by anti-Semitism at the Berlin Olympics

glickman.jpg Glickman was a member of the 1936 U.S. Olympic team in Berlin, as a sprinter. He had been a track star at Syracuse University.

Glickman’s suspicions about the fairness of the relay team selection process began at the American Olympic team trials in New York, when he was told he placed fifth of the seven runners competing in the sprint finals. Finish-line photography was not yet in use at that time, but films of the race seem to indicate that Glickman actually finished third behind Owens and Metcalfe. The judges, apparently under pressure from Assistant coach Dean Cromwell (who coached Foy Draper and Frank Wyckoff at USC, placed Glickman fifth behind Draper and Wyckoff. As a result, Glickman was not one of the three sprinters entered in the 100-yard dash, a premiere Olympic event. Instead, Glickman and Sam Stoller, a Jewish sprinter from the University of Michigan, traveled to Berlin as part of the 400-yard relay team, each scheduled to run a 100-yard leg of the race. Glickman traveled to Germany and spent two weeks practicing as part of the 400-yard relay team. He and teammate Stoller, were replaced on the 4x100m relay team however, the day before they were scheduled to compete in the relay. By Glickman’s own account, the last-minute switch was a straightforward case of anti-Semitism.[1] Avery Brundage, chairman of the United States Olympic Committee, was an enthusiastic supporter of Hitler’s regime and denied that the Nazis followed anti-Semitic policies.[1] Brundage and assistant U.S. Olympic track coach Dean Cromwell were members of America First, an isolationist political movement that attracted American Nazi sympathizers.

Glickman turned to assistant coach Cromwell and said, "Coach, you know that Sam and I are the only two Jews on the track team. If we don’t run there’s bound to be a lot of criticism back home." Cromwell retorted, "We’ll take our chances." The American team won in record time as Glickman watched from the stands. Glickman's friend Jesse Owens was apologetic and protested the maneuver, even though he was one of the replacements, along with Ralph Metcalfe. Glickman and Owens remained life-long friends.

In 1998, William J. Hyde, president of the United States Olympic Committeee, citing: “great evidence of anti-Semitism was there,” presented Glickman with a special plaque: “in lieu of the gold medals they didn’t win.”[2]

Football & basketball

A graduate of Syracuse University, Marty Glickman was also an All-American football player. He had brief careers in professional football and basketball.


Glickman went on to become a distinguished sportscaster, getting his start as the voice man for the sports newsreels distributed by Paramount News, during the years 1948 to 1957, (when Paramount News' newsreel production ended) covering all local, national, and global sports during that era, every genre completely covered. Marty's poetic lilt and slight New York twang made him a legendary favorite in those early years of news production.

Following his stint at Paramount News, he became best known as the voice of the New York Knicks (21 years) and New York Giants (23 years). He also did some New York Rangers broadcasts. In the early 1960s, Glickman teamed with analyst Al DeRogatis, an ex-Giants defensive lineman, to form a legendary broadcast team for "New York Football Giants" fans, many of whom discovered a sound reason to turn down the TV audio in their living rooms and turn up the radio while those in the stands at Yankee Stadium held transistors to their ears.

Glickman was a longtime mentor of broadcasters. His most famous protege, Marv Albert, eventually called radio broadcasts of the Knicks, Giants, and Rangers. He also aided the careers of acclaimed sportscasters Spencer Ross and Johnny Most. Glickman himself became a member of the Curt Gowdy wing of the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Glickman joined radio station WHN in 1939 and was its sports director by 1943. When the New York Knickerbockers were formed in 1946, Glickman was their radio announcer. Later, he was the NBA's first TV announcer.

He was also the voice of the Yonkers Raceway for 12 years and the New York Jets for 11 years. Glickman did pre- and postgame shows for the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees for 22 years. In addition, in the 1970s, Glickman also broadcast University of Connecticut football. Glickman returned to college football in 1985, calling Ivy League football games for PBS.

In addition to this, Glickman covered track meets, wrestling matches, roller derbies, and rodeos, even a marbles tournament. NBC employed him as a critic and teacher of its sports announcers. In 1988 Glickman returned to television on NBC as a play-by-play replacement on its NFL telecasts while protege Marv Albert was in Seoul covering the Olympics. He retired from broadcasting in December 1992, at age 74.


In 1996, his autobiography The Fastest Kid on the Block ISBN 0815605749 was published.


Glickman underwent heart bypass surgery December 14, 2000, and he died of complications on January 3, 2001. He was 83. [3]

External links


  1. Retrieved 2008-10-11.
  3. MARTY GLICKMAN: 1917-2001 -- The Snub, the Voice, the Heart; A Precise, Animated Diction That Captivated the Listener (New York Times obiturary)