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Irv Cross Dies: NFL Player Who Became First Black Network Sports Show Anchor Was 81

Irv Cross Dies: NFL Player Who Became First Black Network Sports Show Anchor Was 81

Irv Cross, a Pro Bowl cornerback who would become the first Black man to work as a full-time sports analyst on national television, died Sundday near his home in Roseville, Mn. He was 81.

His death was announced by both CBS Sports and the Philadelphia Eagles, his former NFL team. A cause was not disclosed.

“Irv was a pioneer who made significant contributions to the storied history and tradition of CBS Sports and, along with Phyllis George and Brent Musburger, set the standard for NFL pregame shows with The NFL Today,” CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said in a statement. “He was a true gentleman and a trailblazer in the sports television industry and will be remembered for his accomplishments and the paths he paved for those who followed.”

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