Irv Cross, NFL Player, Pioneer Black Analyst, Dies At 81
PHILADELPHIA -- AP -- Irv Cross, the former NFL defensive back who became the first Black man to work full-time as a sports analyst on national television, died Sunday. He was 81. The Philadelphia Eagles, the team Cross spent his six of his nine NFL seasons with, said Cross' son, Matthew, confirmed his father died near his home in Roseville, Minnesota.
The cause of death was not provided. From Hammond, Indiana, Cross starred in football and track and field at Northwestern. He was drafted in the seventh round by Philadelphia in 1961, was traded to Los Angeles in 1966 and returned to the Eagles in 1969 as a player coach. Cross joined CBS in 1971, becoming the first Black network sports show anchor. He left CBS in 1994.