July 12, 2010
Sheppard, an unmistakable voice in New York sports history, passed
away at 99 years of age on Sunday at his home on Long Island.
Appropriately dubbed “the Voice of God” for his stentorian diction
and precise intonations, Sheppard served as the legendary Public
Address Announcer for the New York Yankees from
1951-2007. He also served in the same capacity for the New York Giants of the National
Football League from 1956-2006, and announced Brooklyn Dodger
football games, Army-Navy football games and St. John’s University
basketball and football games during his long and illustrious
“St. John’s University mourns the loss of one of our own, 1932
alumnus Bob Sheppard. Bob’s contributions to St. John’s were
immeasurable both academically and athletically,” said
Rev. Donald J. Harrington, C.M., President of St. John’s
University. “He is and always will be a New York sports icon that
will be sorely missed by his fans and members of the St. John’s
Sheppard began his lifelong association with the Vincentian
community as a student at St. John’s Preparatory High School in
Brooklyn, followed by four years as an undergraduate in St.
John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.
interest in public speaking began during his high school days, and
continued throughout the rest of his life. A dedicated teacher,
Sheppard shared his skills with thousands of young men and women as
Chairman of the Speech Department of John Adams High School in
Queens, NY for more than 25 years. He also coached Speech at The
Mary Louis Academy in Queens and at Sacred Heart Academy on Long
Sheppard taught his first speech course at St. John’s in 1937 to
students studying in the evening program, and continued as an
Adjunct Professor at the University for more than three
“Bob was truly one of the giants in the history of New York City
sports, and earned acclaim all over the country,” noted longtime
friend and St. John’s Hall of Fame Basketball Coach Lou Carnesecca
’50C, ’60GEd, ’00HON. “He was a football and baseball player at St.
John’s during the time of the Wonder Five, and he went on to be an
instructor at St. John’s and of course, the ‘Voice of the Yankees’
where he was better known as the ‘Voice of God.’ We are all truly
saddened to hear of his passing.”
In addition to his faculty role, Sheppard remained connected to the
University in a variety of ways, announcing both St. John’s
basketball and football games during his professional career. In
2004, he came back to the Queens campus as a guest public address
announcer for the dedication of Carnesecca Arena and returned again
in 2007 for the dedication of Jack Kaiser Stadium, home of the Red
Storm baseball team. The stadium is named in honor of John W.
“Jack” Kaiser ’49C, who served for many years as Head Baseball
Coach and as St. John’s Director of Athletics from 1973-95.
Kaiser knew Sheppard well, both personally and professionally. “We
are obviously saddened to hear of Bob’s passing,” he said. “He was
a true gentleman, a great teacher and a wonderful announcer. We
will all miss him dearly.”
a true icon whose legacy will remain forever ingrained in the
annals of professional and collegiate sports. In 2000 he was
honored by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in
Cooperstown, NY, and is enshrined in the New York City Sports Hall of
Fame and St. John’s Athletic Hall of Fame as one of the
University’s most outstanding quarterbacks.
In 1983 a grateful University awarded this beloved alumnus the
President’s Medal, conferred a Doctor of Pedagogy degree, honoris
causa, on him in 2000 and presented him with the Medal of Honor in
2007, the highest award given to an alumnus of the
Sheppard is survived by his wife Mary and four children.
Information regarding wake and funeral arrangements is listed
July 13 and July 14 from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m.
Fullerton Funeral Home
769 Merrick Road
July 15 at 10:45 a.m.
St. Christopher’s Church
11 Gale Avenue
In lieu of flowers, his wife, Mary, has requested that donations
be sent in Bob's memory to: Catholic Relief Services, P.O. Box
17090, Baltimore, MD, 21203-7090. www.crs.org