Richard John Vitale, better known as “Dickie V,” is an American basketball analyst. He is a former college and professional head coach who is best known for his 41-year stint as an ESPN college basketball broadcaster. He is known for his catchphrases like “This is awesome, baby!” and “diaper dandy” (outstanding freshman player), as well as his animated and colorful comments during games. He’s also the author of nine books and has appeared in several films.

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA – JULY 20: Dick Vitale attends the 2022 ESPYs at Dolby Theatre on July 20, 2022 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

Vitale was born in Passaic, New Jersey, and raised in Garfield. In his freshman year, he moved to East Paterson (now Elmwood Park). His father, John, worked as a piece-work clothing press operator while also working as a security guard. Mae, his mother, worked as a seamstress in a factory, sewing coats until she had a stroke.

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Vitale graduated from East Rutherford High School and Seton Hall University with a bachelor of science degree in business administration in 1963. William Paterson University later awarded him a master’s degree in education.

Dick Vitale illness

Vitale announced in August 2021 that he was undergoing treatment to remove melanoma that doctors had discovered. Vitale also announced in October of the same year that his doctors had diagnosed him with lymphoma, for which he would seek treatment. ESPN announced in January 2022 that Vitale would not be commentating any more college basketball games that season.

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