ABC Sports Producer Was Aboard TWA Jetliner
Jul. 18, 1996
NEW YORK (AP) _ Jack O'Hara, an Emmy Award-winning executive producer of ABC Sports, his wife and 13-year-old daughter, were aboard the TWA jetliner that exploded off Long Island. He had been on his final assignment for the network, supervising the completion of this year's Tour de France.
O'Hara, 39, a five-time Emmy Award-winner, resigned Wednesday, said Mark Mandel, director of media relations for ABC Sports. He was on the Paris-bound flight to supervise coverage of the final weekend of the cycling race.
O'Hara spoke to a colleague from the TWA's terminal shortly before boarding Flight 800 with his wife, Janet, and daughter, Caitlin, Mandel said. Their twin boys, Brian and Matthew, 12, stayed at home with grandparents.
``Jack was a great guy who was passionate about his work and committed to airing the finest sports television programming possible,'' said Bob Iger, the chief executive officer and president of Capital Cities/ABC Inc.
Said Mandel: ``It's a surreal atmosphere at ABC Sports and at the network. No one believes it actually happened. It's been a nightmare.''
O'Hara, who was appointed executive producer of ABC Sports in April 1991, was responsible for all aspects of the production of ABC Sports telecasts, including NFL ``Monday Night Football'' and ``ABC's Wide World of Sports.''
He recently received the Byline Award from his alma mater, Marquette University's College of Journalism.
O'Hara joined ABC Sports in 1983 after three years as a producer with Major League Baseball Productions. Mandel said O'Hara had not told ABC of his future plans.
O'Hara, who graduated from Scarsdale High School, received his degree from Marquette in 1979. He and his wife and three children lived in Irvington.