O'Sullevan, "Voice of Racing," dies at 97

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

July 29th, 2015

Sir Peter O'Sullevan, the "Voice of Racing" in Great Britain for 50 years as lead commentator for the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), died at his home Wednesday at the age of 97.

According to Racing Post, O'Sullevan worked on the racing desk at the Press Association (PA) before assuming commentating duties for BBC Radio in 1946. O'Sullevan eventually transitioned to television and also wrote about the sport for the Daily Express.

O'Sullevan retired from the BBC in 1997, the same year he was awarded a knighthood. In retirement, O'Sullevan set up an eponymous charitable trust to benefit animal welfare organizations.

O'Sullevan also dabbled in owning, with King's Stand and Prix de l'Abbaye winner Be Friendly his best flat runner. He also owned Attivo, whom O'Sullevan called to victory in the 1974 Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Predeceased by his wife, Pat, O'Sullevan had no children.

Here are several more legendary moments in racing history O'Sullevan witnessed and called for his television audience:

Ribot, 1956 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth

Sea-Bird, 1965 Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe

Grundy v. Bustino, 1975 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth ('The Race of the Century")

Desert Orchid, 1989 Cheltenham Gold Cup

(Peter O'Sullevan photo: Telegraph Media Group)