August 9, 2021

Broadcaster, Former 'Voice Of The 500' Bob Jenkins Dies At 73

Bob Jenkins anchored IndyCar races on television and was a frequent contributor to the public address system at IMS. - Provided by Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Bob Jenkins anchored IndyCar races on television and was a frequent contributor to the public address system at IMS.

Provided by Indianapolis Motor Speedway

Radio and television broadcaster Bob Jenkins died Monday following a battle with cancer. He was 73.

Jenkins’ voice was heard globally over five decades on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network, including as the chief announcer from 1990 through 1998, and he was one of only four television play-by-play announcers in ABC’s 54 years of broadcasting the Indianapolis 500. He was inducted into the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame in 2019.

Jenkins began his broadcast career as a news reporter at stations in Fort Wayne and Valparaiso and then at WIRE in Indianapolis as the co-anchor of a nationally syndicated farm news show “AgDay.”

He was one of the first on-air employees of ESPN when it launched in 1979, and for more than 20 years, was the lead voice of NASCAR races for ESPN and occasionally ABC, including the first seven Brickyard 400s.

Jenkins was a colon cancer survivor in the 1980s and retired from television in 2012 to care for his wife, Pam, when she was diagnosed with cancer. She died that October. In February 2021, Jenkins revealed he had been diagnosed with two malignant tumors behind his right temple following a severe headache on Christmas night.

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