The wife of one of ESPN’s most recognizable faces was killed less than a year after her husband reduced his role at the network so the couple could spend more time together. The Hartford Courant first reported that Kathy Berman had been killed in a crash along Route 64 in Woodbury, Connecticut. She was 67 years old. The accident happened at 2:15 p.m. on May 9. Another man, Edward Bertulis, 87, was also killed. After Berfulis’ car hit a pole and rolled over, Berman veered off the road and landed in a pool of water.
Kathy Berman died the day before her husband’s 62 birthday.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. The Couple’s First Date Was a Breakfast Date
In a 1993 feature with People Magazine, Berman explained the bizarre circumstances which led to him meeting Kathy. Berman saw Kathy driving ahead of him when he pretended to have car trouble in order to entice her to pull over. When she did, Berman asked her to have breakfast with him. Kathy told People, “He was tall, dark and handsome and looked harmless enough.” The same feature describes the couple as living in Cheshire, Connecticut.
A Los Angeles Times feature from around the same time described the couple’s home as a “very, very fine house.” The article elaborates on their home life saying, “They swim with the kids in the pool and play street hockey in the driveway. They crank the tunes.” Berman told the Gainesville Sun in October 1993 that he loved living in Connecticut while adding, “It’s 15 minutes from my house, and I don’t have to go to New York, ever.”
2. Both of the Couple’s Children Attended an Ivy League School
The couple had two children together, Doug and Meredith. A 2011 Worcester Telegram article said that both children studied at Brown University. Berman graduated from the school in 1977 with a degree in American History. While there, Berman was the sports director of the school’s radio station, WBRU, according to Brown’s almuni magazine.
Doug Berman is the Northeast Marketing Manager for New York City based Drizly. While according to her Facebook page, Meredith Berman works for Brown University but is based in New York City. Meredith has also worked as a special events coordinator for the New England Patriots.
3. Berman Was Already a Star on ESPN When the Couple Was Wed
Berman married his wife in July 1983. The New York Times wedding announcement for the couple already describes him the host of Sportscenter in ESPN. He had joined the network in 1979, just a month after the network launched.
While Kathy is referred to as a fourth-grade teacher in in Waterbury, Connecticut. Kathy graduated from the University of Connecticut while she got a master’s degree in education from Fairfield University. Her sister, Sandra, served as her maid of honor. Kathy’s father was a welder at the Waterbury Rolling Mills.
4. Kathy Stood By Her Man When He Was Accused of Sexual Harassment in 2015
Despite not speaking publicly about the allegations, Kathy clearly stood by Berman after he was accused of sexual harassment. A former makeup artist at ESPN, Sue Baumann, said that Berman had made comments and sent inappropriate messages to her, reported the New York Post in November 2015. The same Post report says that Baumann was fired from the company that was contracted to do ESPN’s make-up work.
The allegations were settled by ESPN. The company said in a statement, via The Big Lead, “Our thorough investigation revealed the harassment claims had no merit. We settled it solely to save a considerable amound of time and litigation costs.”
5. Since Semi-Retirement, Berman Has Been Spending Much of His Time on the Golf Course
Just two days before Kathy’s death, the New York Post ran a feature on Berman’s life since reducing his role at ESPN. The piece focuses on Berman’s time on the golf course but the former Sportscenter took the time to mention those who were laid off in Bristol. “Those were real people with real families. I will miss the people who helped make us great, people whose work ethic helped make us great. Almost everyone who has been let go would qualify.”