Poconos Coal

Legendary broadcaster Jack Whitaker got his start in Schuylkill County

POTTSVILLE, Pa. - Jack Whitaker helped paint countless sports pictures with his unique, popular prose from the first Super Bowl to Secretariat's historic race for the Triple Crown.

"I was surprised to read so much that he had covered, the Olympics and everything that he has covered," said Diana Prosymchak, executive director of the Schuylkill County Historical Society.

But he began his race to the top of the sports broadcasting world right here in Pottsville, Schuylkill County.

"That was pretty phenomenal for the area," Prosymchak said. "It brought a lot of attention … especially now, his passing, a lot of people are looking backwards into the radio history."

Prosymchak says Whitaker first got in front of the mic at now disbanded radio station WPAM-AM 1450 in Pottsville.

"To come here in 1947 knowing that his father originally was from this area," Prosymchak said.

In her research, Prosymchak stumbled upon Whitaker's marriage license. It's pieces and little details like this that she says brings history alive and forms a stronger bond to the area and the people like Whitaker, who pass through and go on to do great things.

"Their marriage announcement and everything like that, that they had breakfast in the Necho Allen that morning and things like that it's a lot of fun to know those tidbits of information on them and you start reliving that day for them," Prosymchak said.

A long, eventful life lived for Whitaker, where a small AM station in Schuylkill County, would mark the start of a storied, sports broadcasting career.

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