ESPN's SportsCentury panel

A distinguished panel of 48 journalists, historians, observers and administrators have determined the 50 greatest North American athletes of the past 100 years for ESPN's SportsCentury presented by GM, the most extensive documentary series in ESPN history.

The 18-month SportsCentury initiative, which began in September 1998 with daily Classic Moments, included six SportsCenter of the Decade shows and four individual shows on the greatest coaches, games, dynasties and influential people of the century, also voted on by the SportsCentury panel.

The panel, which draws from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, includes such accomplished professionals as Donna Lopiano (Women's Sports Foundation), David Halberstam (journalist), Anita DeFrantz (IOC Vice President), Robert Lipsyte (New York Times), Curt Gowdy (legendary broadcaster) Bryant Gumbel (CBS/HBO commentator), George Will (political commentator), the late Jim Murray (Los Angeles Times), Bob Costas (NBC commentator) and Steve Bornstein (ESPN Chairman & CEO, and ABC Sports President).

Following is a list of all the panelists and their affiliations.

ESPN's SportsCentury Panel

  • Mitch Albom -- Syndicated sports columnist, Detroit Free Press; winner Sportswriter of the Year 10 of the last 11 years.
  • Roone Arledge -- Television veteran; served as President of ABC News and President of ABC Sports.
  • Chris Berman -- ESPN and ABC Sports commentator.
  • Steve Bornstein -- ESPN Chairman and CEO; President, ABC Sports.
  • Ray Cave -- Former Executive Editor, Sports Illustrated and Managing Editor, Time Magazine.
  • Bill Conlin -- Columnist, Philadelphia Daily News.
  • Bob Costas -- NBC Sports broadcaster.
  • Lucy Danzinger -- Editor-in-Chief, Sports for Women.
  • Frank Deford -- Author; award-winning magazine writer; essayist for Sports Illustrated; former Editor-in-Chief of The National; former Managing Editor of Sports Illustrated.
  • Anita DeFrantz -- International Olympic Committee Vice President.
  • Mel Durslag -- Former columnist, Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles Herald-Examiner.
  • Harry Edwards -- Professor of Sociology, University of California at Berkeley.
  • Dick Enberg -- NBC Sports broadcaster.
  • Roy Firestone -- ESPN commentator.
  • Curt Gowdy -- Former NBC Sports and ABC Sports broadcaster.
  • Bud Greenspan -- Sports documentarian and author.
  • Bryant Gumbel -- Anchor, CBS News and HBO; former host of NBC's Today Show and CBS Sports.
  • David Halberstam -- Noted author, journalist, and commentator.
  • Steve Hirdt -- Vice President, Elias Sports Bureau; contributing writer for ESPN The Magazine.
  • Keith Jackson -- ABC Sports broadcaster.
  • Sally Jenkins -- Senior writer, Sports for Women; author and former writer, Sports Illustrated.
  • Tony Kornheiser -- Columnist, Washington Post; ESPN Radio host.
  • Sam Lacy -- Sports editor and columnist, The Baltimore Afro-American (has written since 1934); elected to Sportswriters' wing of National Baseball Hall of Fame.
  • Richard Lapchick -- Founding Director, Center for the Study of Sport in Society; author.
  • Bob Ley -- ESPN commentator.
  • Robert Lipsyte -- Columnist, New York Times.
  • Donna Lopiano -- Executive Director, Women's Sports Foundation.
  • Mike Lupica -- Columnist, N.Y. Daily News and ESPN The Magazine.
  • Jim McKay -- ABC Sports broadcaster.
  • Al Michaels -- ABC Sports broadcaster.
  • Jim Murray -- Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, Los Angeles Times.
  • Jim Nantz -- Broadcaster, CBS Sports.
  • Dan Patrick -- ESPN commentator.
  • Shirley Povich -- Columnist and sports editor, Washington Post.
  • Robin Roberts -- ESPN and ABC Sports commentator.
  • Harold Rosenthal -- Former sportswriter, New York Herald Tribune; contributor to Kickoff magazine.
  • Bob Ryan -- Columnist, Boston Globe.
  • Dick Schaap -- ESPN commentator; author.
  • Vin Scully -- Long-time voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers; former CBS and NBC broadcaster.
  • Blackie Sherrod -- Columnist, Dallas Morning News.
  • Jim Simpson -- Former NBC and ESPN commentator.
  • Charley Steiner -- ESPN play-by-play commentator and SportsCenter anchor.
  • Bert Sugar -- Noted boxing writer/expert; Author of The 100 Greatest Athletes of All Time.
  • Pat Summerall -- Broadcaster, Fox Sports.
  • Mike Tirico -- ESPN and ABC Sports commentator.
  • Lesley Visser -- ESPN and ABC Sports reporter.
  • Mike Wilbon -- Columnist, Washington Post.
  • George Will -- Syndicated columnist, Newsweek, and ABC political commentator; author of famed baseball book, Men at Work: The Craft of Baseball.