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Racing Broadcaster Clem McCarthy Dead at 79

June 4, 1962 - Clem McCarthy (pictured in 1948), whose broadcasts thrilled racing fans for 20 years, died today in the Dresden Madison Nursing Home. He was 79 years old. Mr. McCarthy retained little in his last years but the memory of the reputation he had earned for delivering exciting machine-gun accounts of horse races. The gravel-voiced McCarthy described every Kentucky Derby from 1928 to 1950, as well as a number of big prizefights and other sports events. Yet he spent most of his last five years a forgotten, penniless invalid. Countless Americans knew what he had been in the ‘30s and ‘40s without being aware what had happened to him. Mr. McCarthy’s troubles became acute after 1954, the year his wife died of cancer. Her illness drained his savings. Then, in 1957, he was seriously injured in an auto accident. A successful lawsuit for damages failed to meet his own continuing medical expenses. Finally, a handful of friends established the Clem McCarthy Fund, which was supported by newspapermen and radio and TV broadcasters. Those closest to the former announcer were comforted that although he was old, sick, and lonely, Mr. McCarthy was not completely forgotten.

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