Les Shapiro

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Leslie Mark (“Les”) Shapiro (March 4, 1956 – January 29, 2022) was an American sports media figure, an anchor for CBS Sports, and a host of the ESPN radio talk program, in Denver, Colorado.[1] [2] He was the play-by-play voice of the Bradley University athletic teams in Peoria, Illinois, before obtaining the post of sports anchor on the Denver CBS affiliate, CBS4, and later the Fox TV affiliate, both of which featured him as the voice of the Denver Broncos. He was a frequent master of ceremonies for charitable events in the Denver area.[3] One of his two sons is a free-lance film producer and song writer in Los Angeles.

Early life

Leslie Mark Shapiro was an observant Jew, named after his maternal grandfather Morris (Eliezer Moshe) Eisenberg. Born in Rogers Park, near the lake front on the north side of Chicago, Illinois, then a Jewish neighborhood, and raised in Morton Grove, Illinois, Skokie, Illinois, and Wilmette, Illinois, he was graduated in mass communications from Arizona State University. .[4] Shapiro grew up in a sports-loving family. His father, Jordan Shapiro, a Navy veteran, and uncle, Sherwin Shapiro, owner of "Sherwins," a high-end women's clothing retailer first on Oakton Street in Skokie, Illinois and then on Happ Road in Northfield, Illinois, were avid fans of Chicago sports teams. Shapiro excelled in youth sports before playing baseball as a pitcher at New Trier High School. He married the girl he had courted since high school. They were married for thirty-eight years. The Shapiro family relocated to Scottsdale in 1975 after many years in the northern suburbs of Chicago.

Career

Shapiro started his career as a news writer and producer for KPNX-TV in Phoenix, Arizona. He then worked as a sports anchor for WEEK-TV in Peoria, Illinois, before moving to Denver in 1983. .[5] He was employed as a sports reporter and anchor by KCNC-TV, CBS4, for fifteen years from 1984 to 1999. .[6]

After leaving CBS4, Shapiro worked for FOX-31, ESPN Radio, and Mile High Sports radio. He also served as the master of ceremonies for many charitable functions around Denver, at which he would also display his considerable singing talent.[7] He covered the Broncos Super Bowl victories in 1998 and 1999, the Avalanche’s first Stanley Cup championship, the inaugural season of the Colorado Rockies and performed the play-by-play for the station’s coverage of the University of Colorado Boulder football.

Shapiro was noted for mentoring other local reporters and broadcasters, such as Adam Schefter and Vic Lombardi.[8][9] He also served as the master of ceremonies for many charitable functions around Denver, at which he would also display his considerable singing talent.[10]

Shapiro left Mile High Sports in February 2020 after relocating to Arizona. Two months later, he partnered with Lombardi – a prostate cancer survivor[8] – to create a podcast called "We Are Unstoppable". It was intended to "shar[e] inspirational stories from great athletes, celebrities, and the most brilliant minds in medicine on how to beat adversity to win in life",[8] and included guests such as Joe Theismann and Verne Lundquist. It was paused in the spring of 2021 when Shapiro's health deteriorated.[9]

He was partners in a popular Denver restaurant with former Chicago Cubs pitcher and Cy Young Award winner Steve Stone.

Personal life

Shapiro was married for 38 years until his death. They met while in high school. Together, they had two children: Jessie and Cary. He and his wife moved to Scottsdale, Arizona, in February 2020.[8][11]

Illness and death

Shapiro died at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona on January 29, 2022, at the age of 65 after a five-year-long battle with lung cancer. He was never a smoker. [12] He was predeceased by his parents Jordan and Fran and his younger brother David Zev. He leaves his two sons, his wife, and his sister Karyn of Phoenix.

References

  1. ^ Hauser, Jeff (2022), “Les Shapiro, Colorado sports broadcast legend, passes away at 65,” January 30; https://www.msn.com/en-us/sports/ncaafb/les-shapiro-colorado-sports-broadcast-legend-passes-away-at-65/ar-AATjfhp
  2. ^ <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>Saunders, Dusty (July 21, 2010). "Les Shapiro gets new sports radio gig". The Denver Post. Retrieved March 8, 2015.
  3. ^ <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>"Recently seen on "Have You Met"". Archived from the original on November 2, 2013. Retrieved June 15, 2014.
  4. ^ <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>Saunders, Dusty (July 21, 2010). "Les Shapiro gets new sports radio gig". The Denver Post. Retrieved March 8, 2015.
  5. ^ <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>Saunders, Dusty (July 21, 2010). "Les Shapiro gets new sports radio gig". The Denver Post. Retrieved March 8, 2015.
  6. ^ <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>Saunders, Dusty (July 21, 2010). "Les Shapiro gets new sports radio gig". The Denver Post. Retrieved March 8, 2015.
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  9. ^ a b Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Mullen
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