Ben Wright

September 9, 1932 - August 29, 2021
Ben Wright

Ben Wright, who broadcast golf and other sports for CBS for 23 years, died on August 29, 2021 from complications post-surgery.

Ben Wright was a broadcast golf announcer and other sports for CBS TV for 23 years.  He was born to Reginald Arthur Wright and Gwendolyn Fraser Rose of Luton England. He was educated at Felsted School, Essex, England and at London University.  He graduated in English and Russian.  He served as a Russian interpreter in the British Army.  In 1954, he became a sportswriter, then golf correspondent of the Daily Dispatch in Manchester and for the Daily Mirror in London before becoming a freelance writer and broadcaster in 1961.

Wright penned weekly columns for The Observer and Sunday Times national newspapers, contributed regularly to Time magazine and Sports Illustrated, broadcast for BBC radio and television, and ITV (the British commercial network.  He was a founder and associate editor of Golf World (UK), and joined The Financial Times as its first ever golf correspondent in 1966, penning a weekly column until retiring in 1989.

In addition to serving as an announcer for CBS TV Sports from 1972, Wright commentated on golf for the BBC, ITV, Australian television, and in New Zealand.  For four years (1993-96) he hosted the world feed of the Sun City Million Dollar Challenge, and broadcast the World Cup from Cape Town, South Africa in 1996.

Wright was a member of the CBS golf team that won the EMMY award in 1980-1, has been nominated for further EMMY awards on a regular basis, and was also a member of the CBS team awarded the coveted Peabody Award in 1992.  He was an award winner in the MacGregor golf writing contest in 1982 and 1989.

Wright has written books on golf, cricket and soccer in Great Britain, and in 1992 published the highly acclaimed “The Spirit of Golf” with illustrations by the renowned American impressionist painter, Ray Ellis, and a lengthy foreword by Herbert Warren Wind, the doyen of American golf writers.

Wright, who attended the world’s major golf events since 1954, announced the Ryder Cup matches for the USA Network for several years.  The 1995 Masters tournament at Augusta National Golf Club was the 23rd in succession and last Wright broadcast for CBS, where since 1974 he announced the 15th and later the 16th hole as well.

He was Editor at Large for Links magazine, formerly since their launch in 1988, and for 20 years through 2008.

In 1994, he designed and built his first golf course in America, The Cliffs Valley G. and C.C. in Travelers Rest, S.C., which opened on October 2nd, 1995 to rave reviews.  Wright was featured in the very successful golf film, Tin Cup, which starred Kevin Costner.  His autobiography, “Good Bounces and Bad Lies”, was published in August 1999, and was followed by “Speak Wright”.

After leaving CBS in 1999 Wright contributed to CTV (Canada) on major golf events, served as a writer and sole commentator on several productions of the World Club Championships for the golf channel, and in June 2003, he anchored the prime time special, “People against the Pros”, again on The Golf Channel starring John Daly and Lee Trevino in Lake Las Vegas.  He is a regular contributor to radio sports shows nationally, in syndication and locally throughout the United States.

Wright was deeply involved working for charity.  The Ben Wright International Challenge Cup has grossed over seven million dollars in its first 25 years for Mobile Meals of Spartanburg, S.C. Inc. He has also been an active supporter of Arizona Children’s Charities in Greenville, SC. He is survived by his wife, Helen (Litsas), his daughter Margaret (Taylor) Lanier, and grand children Stella Jane, Bentley, Wesley and Andrew (Greensboro NC), and sister Susie (Roger) White of Epsom, England.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Mobile Meals of Spartanburg, S.C. .

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  • September 01, 2021
    John Watters says:
    I was so saddened to hear of the passing of my friend Ben. I remember all those wonderful days of golf. My fondest memory being when you exclaimed after hitting a terrible shot that you were playing like a two titted loon. It was such an outrageous characterization we all laughed uproariously. I’m sure other golfers thought we had lost our collective minds. To memorialize the occasion we promptly formed the Royal and Ancient Society of the Two Titted Loon. From a fellow Loon goodby old friend. Rest In Peace.

  • March 31, 2022
    Richard Pittman says:
    I just found about Ben he was a good friend who help me in to be a golf photographer. And Who was responsible and getting my photos in the world golf Hall of Fame. Over the years I’ve lost touch with him I am greatly sorry to hear of his passing he will be greatly missed sincerely Richard Pittman

  • November 27, 2021
    Don Courtney says:
    Think of Ben often & sad to hear of his passing . A Great Gentleman & honored to have known Ben. Ben’s command of the Queen’s English was second to none. A beautiful man, with a Big heart, accomplished golfer, golf historian & the best golf commentator of all time.

  • October 26, 2021
    Tom Dorsel says:
    I had even worried about Ben, and was very sad to find out that my worries were not unfounded. Ben was always special to me, very helpful in getting my sport psychology golf career going, to include arranging for my first appearance on then ESPN's "Inside the PGA Tour." Without his imprimatur, neither the first nor the next nine appearances would have happened. He was very kind to invite me to his house a couple of times, and we also went out to lunch. i say all this to let you know how kind and helpful he was to the little guys in the golf profession, not just to his esteemed colleagues. Thanks, Ben, and I hope to see you again on the other side.

  • October 25, 2021
    Johnny Lyon says:
    Ben was born to talk and was a great golf announcer on CBS. He had an incredible voice that had meaning, like Winston Churchill or Basil Rathbone that made people listen. His Oxford accent, always without script, and his unmatched vocabulary allowed him to say what he thought off the cuff without regard to anyone. The game of golf was denied his talents for the last 20 years because of a riff with CBS but Ben Wright was THE best voice in golf as captured in the movie Tin Cup and in past Masters replays. He will be remembered whispering under the pines at Augusta, his moment under the sun.