Best known for his attitude, which he described by saying "Arrogant, pompous, obnoxious, vain, cruel, verbose, a showoff. I have been called all of these. Of course, I am."
Cosell was born in Winston-Salem, NC, and raised in Brooklyn, NY. He obtained a Bachelor's Degree from NYU in English, and a law degree from NYU Law School. Cosell was admitted to the NY Bar in 1941. He entered the US Army during WWII, and rose to the rank of Major in the Transportation Corp.
After the war, he entered legal practice in NY. in 1953, he was asked by ABC to host a show about the Little League of NY, which he hosted for 3 years without pay. He went on to transform sports broadcasting, bringing a more intellectual approach rather than just plain reporting and color.