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ESPN Founder Bill Rasmussen '54 Visits Princeton Entrepreneurship Club

September 24, 2008

Bill Rasmussen Princeton 9-2008.jpgSeptember 24, 2008, Greencastle, Ind. - "Bill Rasmussen, the founder of the ESPN cable sports network, described his experience starting ESPN and encouraged his audience of about 50 students to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams in a lecture hosted by the Princeton Entrepreneurship Club (last) night in Frick Hall," reports the Daily Princetonian. Rasmussen, a 1954 graduate of DePauw University, told the students, "It's been an amazing ride for ESPN and it just keeps getting bigger and bigger." (photo by Dan Hayes-Patterson/Daily Princetonian)

Peter Tucci writes, "ESPN aired its first show, Sportscenter, at 7 p.m. on Sept. 7, 1979, from a remote truck in the muddy back lot of ESPN's incomplete world headquarters in Bristol, Conn. Following the 30-minute episode of Sportscenter, ESPN aired its first televised game: the Bill-Rasmussen.jpgworld championship of slow pitch softball. Rasmussen's TV channel, of course, has come a long way since then. But the Illinois native's success didn't come without a fight. Rasmussen, who grew up on Chicago's South Side, graduated from DePauw University in 1954 and was drafted into the Air Force a few months later. After leaving the military, he went to work for the Westinghouse Electric Company in West Orange, N.J. But Rasmussen's true passion was sports."

The article details how Rasmussen launched ESPN, sold it in 1984, and has recently started a new entrepreneurial venture, College Fanz Sports Network.

"I can't imagine retirement," says the man who's been called the "George Washington of ESPN. Rasmussen adds, "I tried that after selling ESPN and didn't enjoy it."

Access the complete article, "Television visionary, ESPN founder speaks," at the Princetonian's Web site.

Bill Rasmussen was the subject of a feature story last month in the Courier-Post of Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

His son, Scott Rasmussen '86, co-founded ESPN and is president of Rasmussen Reports. Learn more by clicking here.

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