Jim Lampley (born on April 8, 1949 in Hendersonville, North Carolina) is an American sports broadcaster, movie producer and restaurant owner. He has been in several television shows, but is better known for his participation in the HBO Boxing series. He works alongside Larry Merchant and George Foreman in that series.
Lampley's career as a broadcaster began in 1974, when he was chosen among others in what ABC called a talent hunt. ABC executives thought that Lampley's youthful looks would make him endearing to the college crowds they looked to attract for their college football games. At ABC, he covered such events as baseball games, and five Olympic Games, as well as the show ABC Wide World of Sports
In 1987, Lampley moved to CBS, where he took over duties as sports news anchor on the daily news show in Los Angeles, and also was a correspondent. That same year, he began working for HBO, covering the boxing fights and HBO's annual telecast of Wimbledon. He also attended the Albertville Olympics in 1992, as a news anchor for CBS.
That same year, Lampley moved to NBC, where he helped cover the 1992 Barcelona Olympics as well as the 1996 ones, celebrated in Atlanta. Before the Atlanta games, in 1995, he began working at the Realsports HBO series. For his participation in that show, he has earned three Emmy awards. In 1998, he covered the Winter Olympics as well as the Goodwill Games for Turner Broadcasting Network , and in 2000, he covered the Sydney Olympics, once again, for NBC.
Most casual fans, however, probably know Lampley more than anything else, for his work on the almost monthly, occasionally twice-a-month HBO Boxing show, and on the show's Pay Per View version. As commentator in that show, he has had the opportunity to call some of boxing's most famous moments, such as Thunder Meets Lightning, when Julio Cesar Chavez saved himself from a decision defeat by knocking out Meldrick Taylor (who was leading the fight on all three official scorecards) with only two seconds to go in the last round; the fight where James "Buster" Douglas upset Mike Tyson for the world's Heavyweight championship; and the first Riddick Bowe-Andrew Golota fight, where a riot was formed after the fight. In a rare moment where Lampley's personal life inter-connected with his on camera personality, he told the audience that they were telling him to try to close the show, but that he had a 16 year old daughter somewhere in the middle of that riot and he needed to go and look for her.
Lampley's movie production company, Crystal Spring Productions, has produced a handful of movies, including 2000's Welcome to Hollywood . The company has plans of producing a movie about tennis player Pancho Gonzalez, with Benjamin Bratt in the leading role.
Lampley is the owner of two restaurants in Utah, both of which are named the Lakota restaurant and bar. He is the father of three girls and one boy, and he resides in Rancho Santa Fe, California.
In 2004, Lampley was the daytime anchor for NBC's Olympics coverage for the 2004 Summer Olympics, as well as anchoring the USA Network's coverage of the Games. Athens 2004 was the 12th Olympics Lampley covered, tying the record set by America's original voice of the Olympics, Jim McKay.