Rose Bowl Moves Closer to Statue Honoring Sportscaster Keith Jackson

Rose Bowl officials moved closer to paying a permanent tribute to the man who first uttered the now-famous Rose Bowl moniker “Granddaddy of Them All” Monday by presenting plans to Pasadena City’s Council for installing a statue of the late Keith Jackson.

Published : Friday, August 30, 2019 | 5:10 AM

The Rose Bowl Operating Company, in a report to the City Council Monday, said the statue could be unveiled and dedicated in late December to precede the Rose Bowl Game, or as late as April 2020.

The RBOC also reported that a fundraising effort in support of the planned statue has collected an estimated $380,000 in donations and pledges from more than 150 donors. The fundraising was supported by the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association and Keith Jackson’s family, who have also approved all renderings and elements associated with the project.

Jackson passed away in 2018 at the age of 89. His statue will stand near the entrance gate to the Rose Bowl, where two other statues – that of Jackie Robinson, which was erected in 2017, and another for the 1999 United States Women’s World Cup football championship team, built earlier this summer.

Aside from being the origin of the “Granddaddy of Them All” monicker, Keith Jackson also recorded the soundtrack of many of the biggest moments in college football, the Olympic Games, Wide World of Sports, and the first season of Monday Night Football.

From one of Pasadena’s National Historic Landmarks, he called the most Rose Bowl games than any other broadcaster in history.

As a mentor and father figure to some, Keith Jackson was considered a friend by millions watching from their homes.

Brian Hanlon, who designed both of the other statues, will also be designing Keith Jackson’s statue.

The RBOC said the statue will be similar in stature to the height of the Jackie Robinson statue which is slightly larger than life-size. It will feature the authentic likeness of Keith Jackson standing with a broadcast microphone in hand. The Tournament of Roses logo will be represented on the microphone flag, the RBOC said.

The statue is to be placed in the Rose Plaza, a shared space in front of the Rose Bowl’s Gate A that represents over 17,500 bricks that can be purchased by stadium supporters.

The RBOC said informational reader plaques will be included in the project and located near the marker, to highlight Keith Jackson’s accomplishments, educate visitors, and appropriately recognize the donors to the project.

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