Honoring Jim McKay

Jim McKay to be honored by Hayes Heighe House at HCC

Reception &
Award Presentation

Friday, November 10, 2017
5-8:30 p.m.
Hays-Heighe House

Honoring Jim McKay

Fox 45 News Baltimore


“The Wider World of Jim McKay: Celebrating His Life and His Work” – to be held on November 10, 2017 – features the opportunity to view an exhibit about the late Jim McKay from 5-7 p.m. at the Hays-Heighe House at Harford Community College. The event moves to the Chesapeake Center Dining Room at 7:15 p.m. for the reception, award presentation and remarks from Bill Boniface from Bonita Farm.

Tickets are $50 per person and include heavy hors d’oeuvres and beer/wine, and may be purchased online, at the Chesapeake Center Box Office, by phone (443-412-2211), or in person at the Box Office. Ticket sales close on November 3. Proceeds benefit the Hays-Heighe House; a portion of each ticket price is tax-deductible ($15). Additional information about the event is available by calling 443-412-2539 or emailing hays-heighe@harford.edu

During the reception, McKay will be honored posthumously as the 2017 recipient of the Robert and Anne Heighe Award for Excellence in Equestrian Journalism, which will be accepted by members of McKay’s family, including his daughter, Mary Guba, and grandson James Fontelieu.

McKay is being honored with the Heighe award for his years of coverage of horse racing and in particular the American “Triple Crown” series of horse races. His coverage of racing began in Baltimore in 1947 with live reporting from Pimlico Race Course, the first live television broadcast in Baltimore. It was here that his love affair with racing began. He would also cover racing in England, and from 1977-2000 he broadcast the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes for ABC.

Previous recipients of the Robert and Anne Heighe Award for Excellence in Equestrian Journalism include Joe Kelly, William Boniface, Humphrey S. Finney and Pierre "Peb" Bellocq.


An exhibit showcasing McKay's life, titled The Wider World of Jim McKay, will be on display in the Hays-Heighe House from November 10-January 12. Exhibit hours are Tuesdays from 1 to 3 p.m.; Thursdays from 3 to 5 p.m.; Fridays from 10 a.m. to noon and first Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Admission is free, except at the opening on November 10. Visit https://www.harford.edu/hays-heighe-house for updated schedule information.

The Wider World of Jim McKay exhibit will chronicle McKay’s life from his Philadelphia childhood through his early journalism career and into his national and international work. His reporting on equestrian sports will be one of the highlights in addition to his international reporting. Guest curator of the exhibit, Maryanna Skowronski (Director, Historical Society of Harford County), is working closely with McKay’s family and friends, who are providing photos, memorabilia and stories of his personal life and of his career.

James McManus, better known to the public by his broadcast name, Jim McKay, was a transplanted Philadelphian who came to Maryland at the beginning of his high school career. He attended Baltimore’s Loyola High School and Loyola College before serving in the United States Navy during WWII. After leaving the service he returned to Baltimore where he began his journalism career.

His local beginnings prepared him for his move to New York where he worked in a variety of local and nationally broadcast programs before making his move to ABC's "Wide World of Sports" as the host of that iconic program.

McKay also served as the anchor host for the international broadcasts of 12 Olympic Games. His dignified coverage of the 1972 Munich Games and the massacre of the Israeli athletes would become a focal point of every biography and article written about him throughout his life.

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