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ESPN Founder Bill Rasmussen '54 is one of Sports Illustrated's '40 for the Ages'

ESPN Founder Bill Rasmussen '54 is one of Sports Illustrated's '40 for the Ages'

September 14, 1994

September 14, 1994, Greencastle, Ind. - "Bill Rasmussen didn't set out to become a millionaire or start a minor revolution," Bob Costas noted tonight during 40 for the Ages: Sports Illustrated's 40th Anniversary Special.  "All the guy wanted was to start a local sports channel, but cable operators insisted it would be cheaper to go national. All he wanted was to air a few hours of TV sports a day, but the satellite technicians said it would cost less go to round-the-clock."

In a segment that aired tonight on NBC in prime time, Costas continued, "Little ESPN bloomed into the biggest all sports network in the world, feeding the non-stop appetite for televised games of every sort."

Of Rasmussen, a 1954 graduate of DePauw University, Costas noted, "Some spend their lives chasing that one idea that'll make them rich.  Bill Rasmussen couldn't get out of its way."

Rasmussen comes in #29 on the list, which is topped by Muhammad Ali, with Michael Jordan at #2.  Sports Illustrated aimed to name the 40 individuals who have had the greatest impact on the world of sports over the previous 40 years.

A Rector Scholar and economics major at DePauw, Bill Rasmussen went on to earn an M.B.A. from Rutgers University. He co-founded ESPN with his son, Scott, a 1986 DePauw graduate.

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