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Ex-Knicks Executive Podesta Dies

November 21, 1999

NEW YORK (AP) _ Fred Podesta, the first general manager of the New York Knicks and a pioneer in U.S. sports television, has died. He was 80.

Podesta, who died Nov. 15, was the Knicks GM for six years.

After 11 seasons as a business manager and traveling secretary, Podesta became the Knicks general manager in 1957. After he was succeeded by Eddie Donovan in 1963, Podesta became president of MSG Attractions, Madison Square Garden’s promotional arm.

Podesta placed Knicks games on local television during the team’s first season in 1946 and, while president of MSG Attractions, he negotiated network contracts for the U.S. Open tennis tournament, then held at Forest Hills, when the Open era came to tennis in 1968.

He was associated with the Garden for more than 25 years, before leaving in 1975 to become an independent sports promoter.

Funeral services were held Friday at Blessed Sacrament Roman Catholic Church.

Podesta is survived by a stepson, Clifford Jenkins.