Joe Pellegrino Photo Credit: Pellegrino family

Joe Pellegrino, an award-winning sports anchor on two different Philadelphia TV stations in the 1970s and ’80s, died recently at age 89.

The longtime sportscaster died April 12 at his Philadelphia-area home of of cardiac disease with complications from diabetes. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported his death Friday.

Pellegrino served as the main sports anchor on Philadelphia’s WPVI-TV from 1971 through 1976, winning Emmy Awards and appearing in promo spots for the top-rated Action News team. After leaving the station to pursue opportunities in Detroit — including with the Detroit Tigers — he returned to the city in the 1980s to become sports anchor at WCAU-TV.

He also served as a talk show host on local radio and worked Philadelphia 76ers broadcasts. Everyone in the Philly sports community knew him, and he was widely respected by both fans and his peers.

Merrill Reese, the Philadelphia Eagles longtime play-by-play announcer, posted a tribute to Pellegrino on X/Twitter, calling him a “good friend” and concluding, “Joe was truly a wonderful person.”

Larry Kane, who worked as the news anchor with Pellegrino at both those Philly TV stations, told the Inquirer, “Joe was one of the nicest human beings I ever worked with in my life. In the broadcast community, he was loved. And the broadcast community is tough.”

Other members of the Philadelphia sports community checked in on social media to pay their condolences.

“Joe was a wonderful man & a true professional,” posted longtime Philly sports personality Pete Thompson.


[Philadelphia Inquirer]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.