|Birth: ||Oct. 21, 1928|
|Death: ||Jan. 5, 2009|
Jimmy Crum, Columbus' "Dean of Sports," died yesterday at age 80.
The local TV legend, who spent more than 40 years as a sportscaster for WCMH-TV (Channel 4), was born Oct. 21, 1928, as James W. Crum, but was known to everyone as "Jimmy."
Crum died of apparent natural causes at his home at the Forum at Knightsbridge retirement community on the Northwest Side, according to Colleen Marshall, a WCMH anchor.
"He had that old-school journalistic ethical standard," Marshall said.
Crum was known for his flashy sport coats and quick smile, and had covered dozens of local and national sports figures, including boxer James "Buster" Douglas, and such Ohio State football figures as Woody Hayes, Archie Griffin and Art Schlichter.
He also worked for a time as a TV voice for play-by-play of OSU men's basketball and hosted former Coach Fred Taylor's show.
Crum joined WCMH in 1949 and retired in 1994, working for many years as the TV station's sports director.
But despite Crum's many years on the TV screen, he was perhaps better known for his work as a philanthropist. In 1993, a Channel 4 spokesperson estimated that Crum had been responsible for raising more than $23 million for charity.
And he continued that work until his death.
Channel 4's Marshall worked with Crum for years and talked about him visiting sick children in hospitals before going to the TV station to do his job.
"I think people will remember him more for what he did for the community and what he did for the children of this community," she said. "That had his heart."
Marshall recalled working with Crum on a firefighters' toy drive shortly after she joined the station about 25 years ago.
"The two of us were standing outside the station in the cold waiting for people to drop off toys and he said to me, 'This is the most important work I do. This is what we are here for.' He truly believed that."
Crum had been the founding chairman of the Columbus chapter of the Special Olympics, on the board of United Cerebral Palsy and spokesman for Easter Seals, among many other charities.
He also worked passionately for Recreation Unlimited, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year.
The organization was founded to provide recreational activities for people with disabilities.
In 2004, Crum was awarded the Silver Circle Award by the Ohio Valley chapter of the National Television Academy, which is given to those who have excelled in broadcasting for at least 25 years. He was inducted into the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2002.
Crum was preceded in death by his wife, Miriam, in 2005. He is survived by son James Crum and daughter Kelly Delaveris, a local jazz singer.
Created by: Harley Hoover
Record added: Jan 06, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 32697105
Added: Apr. 12, 2009