Don Dunphy was born on July 5, 1908, in New York City. After graduating from Manhattan College, Dunphy gained experience early in his career covering baseball, basketball, track and field, and college football, but he decided to concentrate on the one he liked the most and thus became one of the first broadcasters to specialize in one sport.
In 1937, he became Sports Director at WINS/New York. Two years later, he began broadcasting local fights. Beginning in 1941, he called fights on radio for Gillette for the next 19 years. As the “voice of boxing,” his blow-by-blow accounts of title fights have been acknowledged as some of the most exciting and informative in the sport. During his long career, he covered over 2,000 fights.
It seems remarkable that the same man who covered the Joe Louis/Billy Conn match in 1941 was also able to call the action in the Thomas Hearns/Sugar Ray Leonard title bout in 1981 with equal intensity. Dunphy was on hand for all three Ali/Frazier fights and considered the first bout in Madison Square Garden the greatest sporting event of all time. Dunphy described with objective eye and accurate voice the rise and fall of champions from Rocky Graziano to George Foreman.
The best eulogy for Dunphy was spoken long before he died on July 22, 1998: “Don Dunphy was not only the voice of boxing. Don Dunphy was boxing.”
Don Dunphy was inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1988.