Bryant Gumbel

  • Host of HBO’s REAL Sports With Bryant Gumbel

Bryant Gumbel is a highly respected broadcaster and has spent several decades hosting a wide variety of shows, giving him a birds-eye view not only of the media but also of American sports culture.


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Commentary - The Black Tax | Real Sports/HBO [2:06] - Get Sharable Link
Talks & Conversations with Bryant Gumbel

From the world of sports to the politics of the day, Bryant Gumbel has anchored and reported from all corners of the globe and brings his famed storytelling to the podium.

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In April 1995 Bryant Gumbel began hosting Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel, HBO Sports' monthly magazine-style program that explores the issues, controversies and personalities that are prevalent in the world of sports.

Since its inception, Real Sports has been honored with 21 Sports Emmy® Awards as well as the 2006 duPont-Columbia University Award for broadcast journalism.  The program won its first Sports Emmys following the inaugural 1995 season, for a report on college football player Adam Warmuth and a profile of legendary Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson.  In 1996 the show was honored by the highly regarded Center for the Study of Sport in Society and Northeastern University in Massachusetts for "Excellence in Sports Journalism."  The show received another Sports Emmy for Gumbel's 1996 report on the 30th anniversary of the 1966 NCAA Championship Texas Western basketball team - and another the following year for "Outstanding Sports Journalism."  The 1998 Sports Emmy Awards included three more for Real Sports, including the Sports Emmy for "Outstanding Edited Sports Series."  The 1999 Sports Emmys added another triumph for the show, as Gumbel received the award for "Outstanding Journalism" for an investigative piece on counterfeit golf clubs.  The program received a 2000 Sports Emmy for a report on baseball recruiting practices in the Dominican Republic, marking the fourth straight year Real Sports won the award for "Outstanding Sports Journalism."

A 2001 Sports Emmy marked the fifth straight "Outstanding Sports Journalism" award bestowed upon the program, recognizing the feature on high school basketball sensation Amare Stoudemire.  The next year, Real Sports captured the 2002 Sports Emmy for "Outstanding Edited Sports Series."  In April, 2004, the program received two Sports Emmys - the "Outstanding Sports Journalism" award for Gumbel's report on the imprisonment of former Georgia high school football star Marcus Dixon and the "Outstanding Long Feature" award for his profile of racecar driver Alex Zanardi, who lost both legs to a terrifying crash.

At the May 2005 Sports Emmy Awards, Real Sports was recognized twice: winning for "Outstanding Edited Sports Series," and for "Outstanding Sports Journalism."

In a virtual repeat of the 2005 Sports Emmy Awards, Real Sports was honored twice at the May 2006 Emmy ceremony.  The program won for "Outstanding Long Feature" and for "Outstanding Sports Journalism."  Gumbel's reporting on the disturbing growth of racism in European pro soccer captured the 2006 "Outstanding Sports Journalism" Emmy.

At the 28th annual Sports Emmy Awards, Real Sports received two more trophies, including "Outstanding Sports Journalism" for Gumbel's report on the troubles in horse-racing's Jockeys Guild and the Emmy for "Outstanding Edited Sports Series/Anthologies."  Twelve times Real Sports has been honored for "Outstanding Sports Journalism."

Some of Gumbel's most compelling interviews include one-on-ones with NFL stars Randy Moss (2005) and Terrell Owens (1996); fallen baseball star Denny McLain (1999); hoops star Brandon Jennings (2009); pro golfers Phil Mickelson (2002), John Daly (1998) and Vijay Singh (2005); track star Usain Bolt (2008); baseball star Ryan Howard (2007);  and his revisit of the shocking encounter between NBA players Kermit Washington and Rudy Tomjanovich (2001).

Bryant has also reported on the largely unknown world of women's bodybuilding; excessive drinking at NFL games; and the police shooting of minor league baseball player Robbie Tolan in his driveway and concussions on the high school level.

In addition, in September 1996 the National Association of Minorities in Cable (NAMIC) presented Gumbel with the annual award that "recognizes an individual for making an outstanding contribution toward promoting diversity in the entertainment/telecommunications industry."

One of television's most accomplished broadcasters, Gumbel was with NBC for over 20 years where he hosted the TODAY program for 15 years, longer than anyone in that show's history.  During his time with TODAY, he won an Emmy award for his interviews.  He anchored the network's coverage of the 1988 Olympic Games from Seoul, South Korea and co-anchored NBC's coverage of the 1992 presidential election.

Gumbel joined CBS News in 1997.  There he hosted his own prime-time program, "Public Eye," as well as the network's morning news program, "The Early Show," before retiring from network television in May of 2002.

Gumbel also co-hosted "Flashpoints" on PBS, a quarterly public-affairs series that zeroed in on national issues.

Gumbel has compiled a remarkably diverse array of credits.  He has interviewed superpower leaders and Super Bowl heroes and has covered foreign wars, elections, international summits and Presidential inaugurations.

Gumbel has anchored and reported from all corners of the globe, including Europe, China, Australia, Russia, Cuba, sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East.  He covered the outbreak of the Persian Gulf War from Saudi Arabia, the reopening of the arms negotiations from Geneva and the tenth anniversary of the fall of Saigon from Ho Chi Minh City.  Gumbel earned an Edward R. Murrow for Outstanding Foreign Affairs work from the Overseas Press Club for his interview with top Kremlin officials in September 1984.  He also received an Edward Weintal Prize for diplomatic reporting and George Foster Peabody Award for his efforts in Vietnam.

In addition to his work with HBO, Gumbel has received four Emmy Awards, the United Negro College Fund's highest honor, the Frederick D. Patterson Award, as well as the Martin Luther King Award from the Congress of Racial Equality and three NAACP Image Awards.  For orchestrating and anchoring the Africa broadcasts, Gumbel has been honored with the International Journalism Award from TransAfrica, the Africa's Future Award from the U.S Committee for UNICEF, and the leadership award from the African American Institute.

Prior to his NBC News assignment, Gumbel worked for NBC Sports (fall 1975 - winter 1982), serving as the host of virtually all its primary programs and championship event broadcasts, including Major League Baseball, the National Football League, and the NCAA basketball tournament.  He also hosted its coverage of the PGA Tour in 1990.

Gumbel's broadcast career began in October 1972 when he was named sportscaster for KNBC - TV Los Angeles.

He was born September 29, 1948, in New Orleans and raised in Chicago.  Gumbel was graduated from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, with a liberal arts degree.  He has received honorary doctorates from Bates, Xavier, Holy Cross, Providence College, and Clark Atlanta University.  He serves on the boards of the United Way of New York City, Xavier University in New Orleans, and his alma mater.