MOUNT VERNON — Central Ohio television legend Jimmy Crum died Monday in Columbus at the age of 80. Crum was well-known for his 40-year career as a sportscaster for WCMH-TV (Channel 4), as well as for his extensive charity work. WCMH anchor Colleen Marshall spoke with Crum’s daughter Kelly Delaveris on Monday evening to confirm that Crum passed away of apparent natural causes in his home at the Knightsbridge retirement community in Columbus.
James W. Crum, known to all as “Jimmy,” became known for his flashy sport coats and equally bright smile during his long career at WCMH, which lasted from 1949 until his retirement in 1994. He was additionally known as the voice of OSU Buckeye basketball in the 1960s and voice of the Cincinnati Bengals football team later. He was additionally known for his coverage and interaction with such renowned sports figures as Woody Hayes, Fred Taylor, Bobby Knight and Archie Griffin.
But Crum’s greatest impact arguably came from his work promoting charities for children with disabilities. Crum was the founding chairman of the Columbus chapter of the Special Olympics, and promoted many others, including Easter Seals and United Cerebral Palsy, as spokesman, board member and/or contributor. One of his favorites was Recreation Unlimited, an organization founded 50 years ago to provide recreational activities for people with disabilities. WCMH estimates from 1993 states that Crum had raised more than $23 million for charities up through that date, and Crum’s activities continued up until shortly before his death.
Crum was inducted into the Associated Press of Ohio Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2002, and was awarded the Silver Circle Award by the Ohio Valley Chapter of the National Television Academy in 2004.
Crum was preceded in death in 2005 by his wife, Miriam. He is survived by daughter, Kelly Delaveris, and son, James Crum.