Ferguson, longtime voice of LSU sports, dies at 86

Updated: December 19, 2005, 1:18 PM ET
Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. -- John Ferguson, who broadcast LSU sports for more than 40 years, has died at 86.

Ferguson died Saturday in Zachary, La., where he lived. He had been hospitalized in recent weeks for a variety of complications from a fall, his brother, Milton, said Sunday.

Ferguson began broadcasting LSU athletics in 1946 and retired in 1987. He also did play-by-play for the New Orleans Saints for a time and other sports events both regionally and nationally.

Ferguson was the voice of LSU football on Saturday nights, when the broadcast could be heard in many parts of the country on 50,000-watt station WWL-AM. There weren't many night games around the country for many years. So Ferguson had the airwaves virtually to himself, and college football fans became familiar with his distinctive baritone voice.

"That was when radio was the medium that people really depended on," said former LSU athletic director Joe Dean. "I can remember traveling to a lot of different places and on Saturday night I always turned my radio to 870 to listen to the Tigers."

In the late 1960s, the Ferguson-Dean team worked together on weekly broadcasts of the SEC game of the week during the basketball season.

Ferguson was a pilot in the Army Air Corps in the latter stages of World War II. He completed 144 missions piloting cargo planes over the Himalayas between India and China. His job was to supply B-29s for their bombing runs.

There were no funeral services for Ferguson, who was cremated.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press