Lesley Visser Biography
Lesley Visser (full name: Lesley Candace Visser) is an American sportscaster, television and radio personality, and sportwriter born on September 11, 1953. She is the first female NFL analyst on TV.
She is also the only sportscaster in history who has so far worked on Final Four, NBA Finals, World Series, Triple Crown, Monday Night Football, the Olympics, the Super Bowl, the World Figure Skating Championships and also the U.S. Open network broadcasts. Visser was voted the No. 1 Female Sportscaster of all-time in a poll taken by the American Sportscasters Association and was elected to the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association’s Hall of Fame in 2015.
She attended South Hadley High School and later joining Boston College where she majored in English.
Lesley Visser Age
Lesley Candace Visser was born on September 11, 1953 in Quincy, Massachusetts.
Lesley Visser Family
Visser was born to a school teacher and engineer, loving sports from an early age. She would go as former Boston Celtics guard Sam Jones on Haloweeen when other girls dressed up as Mary Poppins. Visser already wanted to be a sportswriter at the age of 10 but there was a problem that the job did not exist for women.
Lesley Visser Husband
From 1983 to 2010, she was married to to sportscaster Dick Stockton. Stockton broadcasts football and baseball for Fox and baseball and the NBA for Turner Sports. The couple had met at the sixth game of the 1975 World Series, where Stockton called Carlton Fisk’s iconic home run for NBC and Lesley was covering the game for The Boston Globe.
Visser got married to to businessman and former Harvard basketball captain Bob Kanuth in July 2011.
Lesley Visser Plastic Surgery
Lesley Visser suffered a jogging accident in New York’s Central Park in June 1993. She broke her hip then skidding head-first across the pavement. Visser needed surgery on her face and hip then in 2006 she also required an artificial hip replacement.
Lesley Visser Career
She won a prestigious Carnegie Foundation grant which entitled her to work as a sportswriter at The Boston Globe in 1974. For her 14 years at the Globe, she covered college basketball, the NBA, Major League Baseball, tennis, college football, golf and horse racing. She was assigned to cover the New England Patriots in 1976 hence becoming the first ever female NFL beat writer.
Sports Illustrated named The Boston Globe sports sections (1975–1980) the best sports section of all time in 2009. She made national news in January 1981 with her story regarding the 1978-79 Boston College basketball point shaving scandal after some gamblers and members of the New York Mafia erroneously told her Boston College Eagle basketball player Michael Bowie was involved. The Globe finally reached a settlement with Bowie which included a confidentially clause.
Visser became the first woman ever to report from the sidelines during a Super Bowl when she covered Super Bowl XXIX for ABC in 1995. She also became the first woman ever assigned to Monday Night Football in 1998. In 2000, she covered Super Bowl XXXIV for ABC.
She served as a reporter for college football bowl games and the NFL playoffs games during Wild Card Saturday while at ABC Sports. Visser then contributed to horse racing including the Triple Crown, ABC’s Wide World of Sports, Major League Baseball, including the 1995 World Series, figure skating, Special Olympics, skiing, the Pro Bowl, and also an ABC series A Passion to Play. Visser co-hosted the network’s coverage of the “Millennium Tournament of Roses Parade.”
She covered the Super Bowl, college basketball, figure skating, and horse racing including the Triple Crown for ESPN. Visser also contributed to SportsCenter, NFL GameDay, and Monday Night Countdown.
Lesley Visser CBS
Visser did a few features for CBS in 1983. She later joined CBS Sports part-time and went full-time in 1987. Visser’s assignments included the NBA including the NBA Finals, college basketball including the Final Four, MLB including the World Series, College World Series, college football, horse racing, Tennis including the U.S. Open of Tennis (1984–1993) and also the Olympics.
Visser covered the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 where she focused on how sports would change in East Germany. She then became a regular on The NFL Today with Greg Gumbel, Terry Bradshaw and Pat O’Brien in 1990. She then became the first woman to cover the World Series in 1990. She became the first and only woman to handle the Super Bowl Trophy presentation in 1992. Visser went to ABC Sports and ESPN after CBS lost television rights to NFL games in 1993.
Visser re-joined CBS in August 2000. Her assignments were NFL, college basketball, Tennis, Figure Skating and Horse Racing as well as special projects for CBS News. She is a contributor to The NFL Today and college basketball. Visser became the first woman sportscaster to carry the Olympic Torch when she was honored in 2004 by the International Olympic Committee as a “pioneer and standard-bearer” in 2004.
She became the first female color analyst (NBC’s Gayle Sierens was the first female play-by-play announcer) on an NFL broadcast booth during the 2001 NFL season. She also joined play-by-play announcer Howard David and analyst Boomer Esiason in the booth for Westwood One/CBS Radio and later joining HBO’s highly acclaimed Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.
She was a pre-game reporter for The Super Bowl Today. There, she covered the Super Bowl XXXV in February 2001, Super Bowl XXXVIII in February 2004, and the Super Bowl XLI in February 2007 pre-game broadcasts and during that 2007 Super Bowl she also did serve as a sideline reporter. She contributed to the pre-game broadcast of the 2010 Super Bowl as well as the 2013 Super Bowl.
She was also loaned to NBC Sports twice to cover the Olympics as she covered the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens when she then served as the Equestrian reporter. Visser also covered the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino as a reporter for Short Track Speed Skating.
She returned to roots as she now writes a column for CBSSports.com in September 2007.
Lesley Visser Book
Sometimes You Have to Cross When It Says Don’t Walk: A Memoir of Breaking Barriers Hardcover – December 26, 2017
Lesley Visser Net Worth
The award-winning veteran sportscaster has not revealed her net worth.
Lesley Visser Honors
- First Woman Enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame
- Voted to Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame
- Voted to Sports Writers Hall of Fame
- First Woman Assigned to Legendary Series – Monday Night Football
- First Woman Assigned to a Super Bowl Sideline
- First and Only Woman to Handle a Super Bowl Trophy Presentation
- First Woman Sportscaster to Carry the Olympic Torch
- First Woman Honored as a Lombardi Fellow
- First Woman NFL Analyst on both Radio (Westwood One Monday Night Football, 2002) and Television (Miami Dolphins, 2009)
- Named a Muhammad Ali “Daughter of Greatness”
- Only Sportscaster Male or Female to have Worked on the Network Broadcast of the Final Four, The Super Bowl, the World Series, The NBA Finals, The Triple Crown, The Olympics, The US Open, and the World Figure Skating Championship
- Named one of the Ten Pioneers of Women’s Sports by USA Today
- Named one of the 100 Luminaries in the History of CBS
- Voted the No. 1 Female Sportscaster of All-Time
- First and Only Woman to receive Billie Jean King’s “Outstanding Journalist” Award