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Tony Kornheiser is a sportswriter and ESPN personality, perhaps best-known as one-half of the "Pardon the Interruption" (ESPN, 2001- ) team with co-host Michael Wilbon. "Uncle Tony" -- as he is affectionately called by younger TV and radio personalities -- is a former Washington Post columnist and host of "The Tony Kornheiser Show" on radio. Kornheiser also briefly worked in the booth for ESPN's "Monday Night Football" (ABC/ESPN, 1970- ), though he left after two seasons.
Anthony Irwin Kornheiser was born on July 13, 1948 in Kings Park, New York on Long Island where he attended George W. Hewlett High School. He began his journalism career at the former Harpur College, now Binghamton University, where he graduated with an English degree in 1970. With that, Kornheiser set out on a successful multimedia journalism and teaching career.
Following graduation, Kornheiser started his career at Newsday in New York City, where he worked from 1970 to 1976. Following that tenure, he joined The New York Times through 1979. At that time, Kornheiser jumped to the Washington Post, where in 1984 he became a full-time sports columnist. But Kornheiser was not just a sportswriter. He also penned a Style Section column for the D.C. paper, which eventually birthed three books: 1995's Pumping Irony, 1997's Bald as I Wanna Be and 2002's I'm Back for More Cash.
But perhaps that last book is getting too far head chronologically. In 1997, Kornheiser was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. The same year, while still writing for the Post, Kornheiser joined ESPN. His work at the time was spread out over ESPN radio and ESPN the Magazine, expanding to television with "Pardon the Interruption" in 2002. Two years later, Kornheiser even achieved a sitcom based on his life called "Listen Up!" which aired from 2004 to 2005 on CBS. Jason Alexander played the protagonist role of Tony Kleinman.
In 2006, Kornheiser began working as a color analyst for the network's "Monday Night Football" games. However, his well-known fear of flying limited his run to two seasons with the program. His contributions to the games itself were criticized by players, analysts and ex-athletes alike, though not quite to Dennis Miller levels. On Aug. 15, 2006, Kornheiser revealed that he had skin cancer. He continued hosting both his radio show, as well as "Pardon the Interruption," while receiving treatment.
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