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*Fred Hickman was born on this date in 1956. He was a Black sports broadcaster, anchor, and managing editor for the evening newscast.
Frederick Hickman was born in Springfield, Illinois, to George Henry and Louise Winifred Hickman. He graduated from Springfield Southeast High School in 1974, then earned a B.S. in sociology at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1978. While there, he worked at KCOE-FM radio station. In 1977, Hickman began his professional radio broadcasting career as a news anchor at KLWW-AM in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
After leaving Coe College, Hickman moved back to his hometown to work at the radio station WFMB-AM. From 1978 to 1980, Hickman became an anchor and sports director of the Springfield television station WICS-TV. In 1980 Hickman joined Turner Broadcasting System (TBS) in Atlanta, Georgia. Working with Nick Charles, the duo hosted CNN Sports Tonight; Hickman and Charles reported scores and events, showed college and professional games highlights, and selected a "Play of the Day." The show was a nightly rival to ESPN's SportsCenter, which Hickman later joined.
In 1984, Hickman briefly left CNN for WDIV in Detroit, Michigan. In November 1986, he returned to TBS as a co-anchor with Charles for CNN/Sports Illustrated. He remained with CNN until September 2001 and was the host for both the NBA and NFL pre-game and post-game shows, a commentator on the Atlanta Hawks, and a co-host of the Olympic Winter Games in France in 1992, the Olympic Winter Games in Norway in 1994, and the 1994 Goodwill Games.
In 1999, Hickman reported on the Millennium celebrations in New York during CNN's event coverage. Hickman was a Master of Ceremonies, speaker, and guest panelist at the Butkus Award and the Eddie Robinson Award, as well as narrator for TBS's contribution to Bob Ballard's National Geographic specials, including the recovery of the Titanic.
He caused controversy 2000 when he cast his first-place vote for the NBA Most Valuable Player Award for Allen Iverson. Hickman was the sole voter who did not release his first-place voice that year for Shaquille O'Neal, preventing O'Neal from becoming the first unanimous MVP of the NBA. Iverson finished seventh in the voting. Hickman was nominated for CableACE awards (Award for Cable Excellence) for best sports host every year from 1988 to 1993, winning in 1989 and 1993.
In 1993, he was named "sexiest sportscaster" by the U.S. Television Fan Association. He was a New York Sports Emmy Award Winner in 2004 and was added to the Springfield Sports Hall of Fame in 2007. Fred Hickman died of liver cancer at a hospital in Kissimmee, Florida, on November 9, 2022, at age 66.