Ken Squier was a famous American sportscaster and motorsports editor. From 1979 to 1997, he talked about the action in NASCAR races on CBS, and he did the same for TBS from 1983 to 1999. In 1979, Squier was the first announcer to give a play-by-play commentary for the Daytona 500.
He came up with the term “The Great American Race” for the Daytona 500 and played a role in introducing the in-car camera from Australia for the event in 1982. Sadly, Ken Squier passed away on Wednesday at the age of 88.
Ken Squier Net Worth
As of 2023, Ken Squier’s net worth was estimated to be around $7 million. This figure reflects his enduring contributions over decades in the racing and broadcasting industries.
Ken Squier Early Life and Career Beginnings
Ken Squier, born on April 10, 1935, in Waterbury, Vermont, began his broadcasting career at the age of 12. His father, Lloyd Squier, owned WDEV, a local radio station where Ken started his on-air work.
Following his father’s death in 1979, Ken inherited the station, becoming its principal owner and CEO. His career in race announcing started when he was just 14, announcing a stock car race from the back of an old logging truck in Vermont.
He opened the Thunder Road International SpeedBowl in Vermont in 1960 and co-founded the Motor Racing Network in 1970.
Ken Squier Pioneering Role in NASCAR Broadcasting
Squier is renowned for his role as a pioneering NASCAR announcer. He served as a pit reporter for the Greenville 200 on ABC in 1971 and joined CBS Sports a year later. His most notable achievement was being the first to provide lap-by-lap commentary for the Daytona 500 in 1979, a race he coined as “The Great American Race.”
This event marked the first live “flag-to-flag” coverage of the race, which attracted high television ratings, partly due to a major snowstorm on the East Coast keeping viewers indoors. He continued to announce every Daytona 500 until 1997, after which he transitioned to a studio host role until 2000.
Ken Squier Broadcasting Style
Squier’s broadcasting style was distinguished by his use of grandiose words and colorful metaphors. He famously described NASCAR drivers as “common men doing uncommon things” and had a knack for crafting vivid imagery, especially in his commentary of racing events.
His ability to switch between radio and TV broadcasting styles was particularly noted during the 1981 Talladega 500, where he adeptly handled a technical glitch that left viewers with audio only.
Ken Squier Versatility
Aside from his contributions to NASCAR, Squier also announced a variety of other sports. He covered CART IndyCar broadcasts for CBS in the 1990s, hosted the 1982 Individual Speedway World Championship, and covered Formula One races in the 1980s.
He also ventured into commentating for ice skating, golf, tennis, and even the 1992 and 1994 Winter Olympics. His versatility in sports broadcasting was evident in his role as a commentator for the television show “R U Faster Than a Redneck?” in 2013.
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Ken Squier Business Ventures and Contributions
Squier’s business acumen was evident in his ownership and operation of Radio Vermont, Inc., and its stations. He also co-founded World Sports Enterprises, the first television production company specializing in motorsports, and founded the American Canadian Tour late model racing series.
Ken Squier Awards and Honors
Ken Squier’s contributions to sports broadcasting and motorsports were recognized through numerous awards and honors. He was inducted into several halls of fame, including the Oceanside Rotary Club of Daytona Beach Stock Car Racing Hall of Fame, the New England Auto Racers Hall of Fame, and the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
Additionally, he received awards like the Henry T. McLenore Motorsports Press Award for Journalism and was named Vermont Sportscaster of the Year multiple times.
Ken Squier Legacy
Ken Squier’s impact on the world of sports broadcasting, particularly NASCAR, remains significant. His innovative approach to race commentary, combined with his diverse contributions across various sports, cements his status as a legendary figure in the field.
His net worth, a testament to his successful career, is just one aspect of a legacy that spans several decades and continues to influence the sports broadcasting industry.