Lesley Candace Visser, a renowned American sportscaster, journalist, and sportswriter, has left an indelible mark on the world of sports journalism. Born on September 11, 1953, in Quincy, Massachusetts, her passion for sports began at a young age.
Despite facing barriers as a woman in a male-dominated field, Visser fearlessly pursued her dream of becoming a sportswriter. In this blog post, we delve into her inspiring journey, her groundbreaking achievements, and her significant contributions to sports broadcasting.
Lesley Visser Early Life and Education:
From an early age, Lesley Visser displayed an unwavering passion for sports. While other girls chose conventional Halloween costumes, she dressed as a former Boston Celtics guard, Sam Jones. Encouraged by her parents, who believed in breaking stereotypes, Visser aspired to become a sportswriter. She attended Boston College, majoring in English, and this paved the way for her remarkable career in journalism.
Lesley Visser Career:
In 1974, Visser’s talent was recognized when she received a prestigious Carnegie Foundation grant, leading to her first job as a sportswriter at The Boston Globe. Over the next 14 years, she covered an impressive array of sports, including college basketball, the NBA, MLB, tennis, football, golf, and horse racing. Her groundbreaking achievement came in 1976 when she became the first female NFL beat writer, covering the New England Patriots.
During her tenure at The Boston Globe, the sports section was hailed as the best of all time by Sports Illustrated in 2009. In 1981, she gained national attention for her coverage of the Boston College basketball point-shaving scandal. While Visser initially faced misinformation from gamblers and the New York Mafia, she remained dedicated to truthful reporting.
Visser’s career continued to soar when she joined CBS Sports in 1984, eventually becoming a regular member of The NFL Today show. She covered numerous prestigious events, including the NBA Finals, college basketball’s Final Four, MLB’s World Series, and the Olympics. Her accomplishments extended beyond the US, as she reported on the fall of the Berlin Wall and its impact on sports in East Germany.
Lesley Visser’s Influence:
Visser’s groundbreaking achievements opened doors for women in sports journalism. She shattered the glass ceiling as the first female NFL commentator on television and the first woman to cover the World Series. In 1992, she achieved another milestone, being the first and only female sportscaster to host the Super Bowl Trophy presentation.
Lesley Visser Personal Life:
Beyond her professional accomplishments, Lesley Visser’s personal life has also been noteworthy. She was married to sportscaster Dick Stockton from 1983 to 2010. Later, in July 2011, she tied the knot with businessman and former Harvard basketball captain, Bob Kanuth.
Lesley Visser’s journey as a trailblazer in sports journalism has been truly remarkable. Overcoming societal barriers, she achieved unprecedented milestones in a male-dominated industry. Her determination and dedication continue to inspire aspiring journalists, especially women, to follow their passion and break through barriers. Lesley Visser’s legacy will forever be etched in the history of sports broadcasting, leaving an enduring impact on the industry she loved and enriched.