Francis D. "Chick" Hearn

Enshrined 2003
Buda, IL
November 27, 1916 - August 5, 2002


Francis "Chick" Hearn turned the seemingly simple task of broadcasting a sporting event into an art form, and in the process became an icon and a celebrity. Hearn's first broadcast words were uttered in Manila where he was stationed after World War II. At that time, he did play-by-play for a touring basketball team on the Armed Forces Network. In a career that spanned seven decades, Hearn began a streak of 3,338 consecutive broadcasting games for the Los Angeles Lakers on November 21, 1965, before ending on December 16, 2001. Known for creating a glossary of broadcasting buzzwords - known as "Chickisms" - Hearn coined the terms "on him like a postage stamp", "the mustard's off the hot dog" and "can't throw a pea in the ocean." He introduced universal basketball phrases such as "slam dunk" and "no harm, no foul."

Career Highlights

Three-time National Sportscaster of the Year, 1959, 1965, 1987
Recipient, Curt Gowdy Award, 1992
Emmy Award for Excellence in Basketball Coverage, 1965
Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame, 1986