John Lennon was shot dead in front of his New York City home by Mark David Chapman in the afternoon, but wife Yoko Ono asked the hospital not to confirm his death publicly until she spoke with the couple’s son. Word finally reached ABC and Roone Arledge, then president of both its news and sports divisions as well as the executive producer of Monday Night Football. That program was airing a game between the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots when Arledge informed the broadcast team of Cosell and Frank Gifford. Cosell then broke to America the news of the former Beatle’s passing. -A.D.
Today’s Birthdays: David Carradine, warrior monk (d. 2009); Sammy Davis, Jr., showman (d. 1990); Roy Firestone, sports announcer (59); Teri Hatcher, intrepid reporter (48); James MacArthur, booker (d. 2010); Dominic Monaghan, Islander (36); Ian Somerhalder, vampire (34); Flip Wilson, variety host (d. 1998).