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Keiter, Hall of Fame broadcaster, dies


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POSTED: Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Les Keiter, a Hall of Fame broadcaster and longtime fixture in Hawaii sportscasting, died this afternoon at Castle Medical Center. He would have been 90 on April 27.

Keiter had been battling dementia for several months.

While working in New York for ABC radio, Keiter called 14 championship boxing matches, including Muhammad Ali's first title win over Sonny Liston in 1964. He also gained fame in Hawaii, recreating baseball games for the Hawaii Islanders and serving as the long-time sports director at KHON-2.

Keiter was born in Seattle and graduated from the University of Washington.

He first came to Hawaii in 1948 and returned in 1970 after making a name for himself in Philadelphia and New York. He also covered college basketball in Philadelphia and the New York Giants, baseball and football teams. 

Keiter retired from KHON in 1994, becoming the spokesman for Aloha Stadium. While there, he mentored fledgling broadcasters in the Stadium Stars program he started.

Keiter remained active with the Honolulu Quarterback Club as master of ceremonies of its weekly meetings in recent years.

He appeared in “;Hawaii Five-0,”; playing a general. KHON anchor Joe Moore later called him The General on the air and the nickname stuck.