Lesley Visser Bio

Hall of Fame Sportscaster Lesley Visser has written her story: “Sometimes You Have to Cross when it says, ‘Don’t Walk’” – A Memoir of Breaking Barriers

Lesley Visser is the most highly acclaimed female sportscaster of all time – the first woman enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (2006); the first woman sportscaster to carry the Olympic Torch (2004, when the International Olympic Committee hailed her as a “pioneer and standard-bearer”); the only woman to have presented the Lombardi Championship Trophy at the Super Bowl (1992, CBS); the first woman on ABC’S Monday Night Football (1998); voted the No. 1 Female Sportscaster of All-Time by the American Sportscasters Association; voted to both the Sportscasters Hall of Fame and the Sportswriters Hall of Fame; the only person to win the Billie Jean King “Outstanding Journalist” Award; the only Sportscaster – male or female – to have worked on the Network broadcasts of the Super Bowl, the Final Four, the NBA Finals,

the Olympics, the Triple Crown, the US Open and the World Figure Skating Championships. She has been on the board of the Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research for more than 20 years. And also mentors young women while speaking at conferences in the United States and around the

world. Her legendary and iconic career started when, at 10-years-old, she told her mother that she wanted to be a sportswriter. Of course, the job didn’t exist for women in 1963. Instead of saying, “Forget that,” Mary Visser told her daughter: “That’s great! Sometimes you have to cross when it

Download a copy of Lesley’s accomplishments and accolades


says, ‘Don’t Walk’”. It changed Lesley’s life in one sentence, giving her the strength to pursue her dream. Lesley’s career started on a Carnegie Foundation Grant, writing for the Boston Globe in 1974 (later named “The Best Sports Section in History” by Sports Illustrated.) The credentials for a game often said, “No Women or Children in the Press Box,” and there were no Ladies’ Rooms. But it didn’t stop her. The Globe made Lesley the first woman to cover the NFL as a beat; she also covered Final Fours, Wimbledon, the Olympics and Super Bowls before moving to CBS in 1984, working for both the Globe and CBS until she went full-time to CBS in 1988. In “Sometimes You Have to Cross when it says, ‘Don’t Walk’”, Lesley Visser shares her historic journey thoughout the world of sports with both humor and detail. She tells of her hard-won scar tissue and wisdom from more than 40 years in the business. When times got tough, she always remembered the words of the great Billie Jean King, who once told her, “Pressure is a Privilege.” Take this walk down memory lane with VIP-access to people like John Madden, Martina Navratilova, Joe Torre, Bill Belichick and Peggy Fleming. Be inspired to follow your dream. Lesley, still with CBS Sports, is married to Bob Kanuth, a former captain of Harvard basketball, and they live in Bay Harbor Islands, Florida.

Hall of Fame Sportscaster Lesley Visser has written her story: “Sometimes You Have to Cross when it says, ‘Don’t Walk’” – A Memoir of Breaking Barriers

Lesley Visser is the most highly acclaimed female sportscaster of all time – the first woman enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (2006); the first woman sportscaster to carry the Olympic Torch (2004, when the International Olympic Committee hailed her as a “pioneer and standard-bearer”); the only woman to have presented the Lombardi Championship Trophy at the Super Bowl (1992, CBS); the first woman on ABC’S Monday Night Football (1998); voted the No. 1 Female Sportscaster of All-Time by the American Sportscasters Association; voted to both the Sportscasters Hall of Fame and the Sportswriters Hall of Fame; the only person to win the Billie Jean King “Outstanding Journalist” Award; the only Sportscaster – male or female – to have worked on the Network broadcasts of the Super Bowl, the Final Four, the NBA Finals, the Olympics, the Triple Crown, the US Open and the World Figure Skating Championships. She has been on the board of the Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research for more than 20 years. And also mentors young women while speaking at conferences in the United States and around the world.

Her legendary and iconic career started when, at 10-years-old, she told her mother that she wanted to be a sportswriter. Of course, the job didn’t exist for women in 1963. Instead of saying, “Forget that,” Mary Visser told her daughter: “That’s great! Sometimes you have to cross when it says, ‘Don’t Walk’”. It changed Lesley’s life in one sentence, giving her the strength to pursue her dream. Lesley’s career started on a Carnegie Foundation Grant, writing for the Boston Globe in 1974 (later named “The Best Sports Section in History” by Sports Illustrated.) The credentials for a game often said, “No Women or Children in the Press Box,” and there were no Ladies’ Rooms. But it didn’t stop her. The Globe made Lesley the first woman to cover the NFL as a beat; she also covered Final Fours, Wimbledon, the Olympics and Super Bowls before moving to CBS in 1984, working for both the Globe and CBS until she went full-time to CBS in 1988.

In “Sometimes You Have to Cross when it says, ‘Don’t Walk’”, Lesley Visser shares her historic journey thoughout the world of sports with both humor and detail. She tells of her hard-won scar tissue and wisdom from more than 40 years in the business. When times got tough, she always remembered the words of the great Billie Jean King, who once told her, “Pressure is a Privilege.” Take this walk down memory lane with VIP-access to people like John Madden, Martina Navratilova, Joe Torre, Bill Belichick and Peggy Fleming. Be inspired to follow your dream.

Lesley, still with CBS Sports, is married to Bob Kanuth, a former captain of Harvard basketball, and they live in Bay Harbor Islands, Florida.