Hearn, Lakers announcer, dead at 85

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Sports fans around the nation, but especially in Los Angeles, were mourning the
loss of longtime Los Angeles Lakers announcer Chick Hearn, who died Monday night
after a fall Friday in his Encino, Calif., home. He was 85.

Doctors had operated twice to relieve swelling in Hearn's brain after the
fall, but he never regained consciousness.

About 100 fans were reportedly outside the Northridge Medical Center, and
many were said to be in tears at the news of Hearn's death.

With 42 years at the Laker mike, Francis Dayle Hearn was the only regular
play-by-man the current National Basketball Association champions ever had.

He called a record 3,338 consecutive Lakers games between 1965 and 2001,
before heart surgery caused him to miss some games this past season.

The popular announcer is credited with popularizing the terms "slam dunk," "air ball" and "no harm, no foul."

Well known basketball and Los Angeles figures gave the late announcer glowing
praise.

Hearn called his first Lakers game in 1961 and his last June 12, when the
Lakers won their third consecutive NBA title.

Only a week ago, he and his wife of more than 60 years drove to a basketball
camp to deliver a speech.

The Hearns had two children, but both their son and daughter predeceased
their parents.

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