'He Was An Inspiration:' Legendary WCBS 880 Sportscaster Ed Ingles Dies

WCBS 880 Newsroom
March 06, 2020 - 5:21 pm
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Legendary New York sportscaster Ed Ingles has died. He was 87.

The former WCBS 880 sports director had a career in broadcast spanning over 60 years and most recently served as the professional in residence at Hofstra University’s WRHU before retiring last year.

Before there was ESPN and a high-volume of talk radio hosts, Ingles was a giant, pioneering sports updates on radio. With his conversational style and punchy writing he was the gold standard.

"He put on a clinic every morning on how to get everything in possible in 2 and a half minutes," said longtime Knicks broadcaster Mike Breen, who interned for Ingles back in the 1980s. "For me and for countless broadcasters, he was an inspiration to get into the business."

The Bronx native who was raised in Baldwin, graduated from the University of Georgia and also served in the U.S. Navy.

During his 24-year career at WCBS 880, Ingles could often be heard providing sports updates during the morning drive. He also served as a broadcaster for the New York Jets, St. John’s University Basketball and Iona College Basketball. He also covered golf, tennis, horse racing, auto racing and several Olympics. 

“Ed didn’t just give the information, he told amazing stories, made relationships with the people he was talking to and it came through on every report,” said WCBS 880’s Wayne Cabot.

The 87-year-old was beloved by many, including the Hofstra students whom he mentored at WRHU-FM and the staff at WCBS 880.

“Every single person has nothing but great things to say about our friend, our mentor: the great Ed Ingles,” Cabot said in a tribute video to the former sports director in 2019.

Ingles inspired many broadcasters, producers, directors and engineers to enter the broadcasting industry, and that includes his own children. His daughter, Diana, tells WCBS 880 that his true legacy is all of the people that he helped through his life who’ve made their own mark in broadcasting.

"Everyone would tell me how much they love my father and I would say, 'me too' cause he was a father to everyone," she said. "Nobody ever had a bad word to say about him."

"He was my first mentor and he was one of my heroes, but I'm just one of many who feel that way," Breen, who will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame after winning the Curt Gowdy Media Award last month, said. "Throughout my career when people ask me, 'What did you want to do? What were your goals?' My answer often was just, 'I want to be Ed Ingles' because of what he accomplished both on the air and more importantly the impact he had off the air in the industry."

That impact was evident with just one look at Twitter, where many broadcasters and former students expressed their condolences and thanks to their role model and mentor.

Veteran WCBS 880 City Hall reporter Rich Lamb said Ingles was a consummate broadcaster and a family man who treated everyone as family, including his colleagues, students and even the athletes he covered.

"Ed radiated respect and affection for everybody and he was excellent at his job," Lamb said.

Last year, Ingles told WCBS 880 that, during his career, he always wanted to “get a story.”

“I felt I was a story teller, scores are okay, but I wanted to be a storyteller,” he said. “I wanted to come every morning with one or two good stories you can hang your hat on. If I could do that, either with tape or written copy, I was a happy camper.”

Of his lengthy career, Ingles told WCBS 880’s program director Tim Scheld: “I didn’t have a job, I had an adventure and the reason for that was, when I got up at 2 o’ clock in the morning, I was happy to go to work.”

Ingles is survived by his wife, Margaret, and his daughter, Diana. His son, Kevin, passed away in 2018 at age 35.