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Tom Mees was an American sportscaster who
anchored ESPN's nightly highlights show,
SportsCenter, from the time of the
cable sports network's launch on September 7th,
1979, until 1993. Beginning in 1987, he did
play-by-play for hockey games whenever ESPN
had NHL broadcast rights. Mees continued to
host SportsCenter in the off-season, and always
returned full time to the show when the network
lost broadcast rights to NHL games. Mees was
also a familiar face on sister network ESPN2,
and broadcast college football and basketball,
as well as acting as host of the NHL draft.
Before he became one of ESPN's original sports
anchors, Tom broadcast football games on the
University of Delaware student-run station
while still a student at UD. After graduating
from the University of Delaware in 1972, Mees
spent six years as sports director at WILM-AM
in Wilmington. Working with the late Bob Kelley,
Mees was the commentator on Delaware football
and basketball games, covered professional
baseball and basketball, hosted a weekly sports
talk show and provided daily sports commentary.
Tom then became sports director in 1978 at
WECA-TV in Tallahassee, Florida, before joining
ESPN the following year.
Mees, who couldn't swim, died saving his
4-year-old daughter, Gabrielle, from drowning
after she fell into the deep end of a neighbor's
swimming pool. Later, the police report was
amended and the death termed a swimming accident,
saying they could not confirm the rescue attempt.
"We believe at this point there was no rescue
attempt," police Captain Domenic Lombardo said.
Biographical fast facts
Date and place of birth: October 13, 1949, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Date, time, place and cause of death: August 14*, 1996,
at 3:15 p.m., Bradley Memorial Hospital, Southington, Connecticut, U.S.A. (Accidental drowning)
Wife: Michelle Mees
Children: Lauren and Gabrielle (daughters)
Error correction or clarification
* "August 13" and "August 15" have erroneously
been reported as his date of death.
Tom Mees had no pulse or respiration when he was
brought to Bradley Memorial Hospital at 2:50 p.m.,
August 14, 1996 and efforts to revive him failed.
He was pronounced dead at 3:15 p.m., Wednesday,
August 14, 1996, according to
Richard Corcoran, hospital vice president.
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