Happy 101st Birthday To The ‘Voice Of The Cowboys,’ Larry Birleffi
With all due respect to Curt Gowdy and Dave Walsh, who are legends in their own right, Larry Birleffi is the greatest sportscaster in Wyoming history.
This week, Birleffi, who passed away in 2008, would have celebrated his 101st birthday. Here's a look back at his illustrious life and career.
Birleffi was born in Hartville, Wyoming, in 1918 and spent the rest of life in the Cowboy State. While his father worked in the mines, Larry developed a love for sports and became a star quarterback at Sunrise High School. Following his graduation, he moved to Laramie and enrolled at the University of Wyoming.
While studying English at UW, Birleffi began his professional career as a sportswriter for the Laramie Boomerang. After earning his Bachelor's degree in 1942, he joined the United States Army, eventually rising to the rank of major and receiving a Bronze Star for his service during World War II.
Before enlisting in the Army, Birleffi married his college sweetheart Lois A. Sturtevant. Their union lasted 62 years until she passed away in 2004.
When the war was over, Birleffi returned to Wyoming and turned his attention to broadcasting. In addition to his regular newspaper columns, a daily radio show, and frequent television appearances, Birleffi announced Cowboys football and basketball games for nearly 40 years.
Already a legend in Wyoming, Birleffi's long-time friend Curt Gowdy introduced him to a national television audience in the 60s and 70s when he became a regular contributor on ABC's Wide World of Sports.
Following his retirement, he was inducted into the University of Wyoming Athletics Hall of Fame and the Wyoming Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame. The press booth at War Memorial Stadium in also named in his honor.
In 2008, he passed away at the age of 90. He was survived by his three daughters, two grandchildren, hundreds of friends and thousands of fans who will always remember him "the Voice of the Cowboys."