Bob Ley, right, and George Grande were anchors when ESPN debuted in 1979. Ley announced he is retiring after 40 years with the sports cable network.
Photo: ESPN/Associated Press
Photo: ESPN/Associated Press

Bob Ley, longest-tenured anchor at ESPN, retires after 40 years

Bob Ley, the longest-tenured anchor at ESPN, announced Wednesday he is retiring after a 40-year career at the sports cable network.

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Ley, 64, said in a statement that he will be retiring at the end of this month, ESPN reported. The anchor had taken a six-month leave of absence in October.

"Across 40 years I have enjoyed a professional journey unimaginable when I joined ESPN on its first weekend in existence in 1979," Ley said in his statement. "Each day since has been a unique adventure, one I embraced for the challenge and unequaled fun of a job like no other."

Ley stressed in his statement that the decision to retire was his, and that he is in good health.

In a tweet, Ley said, "there were too many people to thank individually."

Ley joined ESPN as a "SportsCenter"anchor on Sept. 9, 1979, on the network's third day of operation. In 1980, he hosted the first NCAA selection show, and also anchored the live broadcast of the NFL draft, ESPN reported.

A winner of 11 Sports Emmy Awards during his career at ESPN, Ley also won an Emmy for outstanding studio host in 2018. he was inducted into the National Sports Media Association Hall of Fame this year.

Ley was born in Newark, New Jersey, grew up in Bloomfield, and attended Seton Hall University, reported.

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