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Chuck Marlowe Of "The Bob Knight Show" Has Died
Updated February 12, 2016 8:31 AM
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(INDIANAPOLIS) - Chuck Marlowe; a longtime Indianapolis sportscaster best known as the host of "The Bob Knight Show," which ran weekly for 29 years; died early Thursday at age 86, his son John Marlowe confirmed.

The elder Marlowe had been suffering from pulmonary fibrosis, which severely damaged his lungs.

Marlowe was the target of Bob Knight's frustration for nearly three decades. Some might even call him Knight's punching bag and Marlowe would wholeheartedly agree.

He happily played the role of the underdog pandering to the big, bad Indiana University basketball coach because it helped him get the man to talk.

"He can come to me and release his emotions and frustrations. I just draw him out," Marlowe said in a 1996 IndyStar interview. "He puts me down on the show. I accept that, because my role is to make him say something."

Chuck Marlowe's career, however, reached far beyond Bloomington, where he also performed TV play-by-play duties for IU basketball starting in 1958. He was a longtime WTTV-4 media personality and Indiana Broadcast Pioneer Hall of Fame member.

IU athletic director Fred Glass said in a statement Thursday that he grew up watching Marlowe on WTTV-4 as a sportscaster, calling championship wrestling and hosting the "Bob Knight Show."

"He did it all with professionalism and class," Glass added. "The IU basketball family has lost a true icon."

At the forefront of a new industry, Marlowe knew variety was the key to success. Early television meant being a jack of all trades and Marlowe played the role well. Besides sports, he hosted a teen dance program, played pitch man for local products and services, hosted a cooking show and was even a puppeteer on "Randy and Friends," a program for children.

He was so popular in Indianapolis that many wished he would run for political office. In a 1992 IndyStar column listing non-political people voters wanted as candidates for governor, Marlowe won the popular vote, along with golfer Fuzzy Zoeller, TV anchor Howard Caldwell, Hal Fryar (TV's Harlow Hickenlooper) and TV anchor Diane Willis.

He spent 41 years as a pit reporter for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network's broadcast of the Indianapolis 500.

Marlowe was also the serious announcer for the otherwise campy "Big Time/Championship Wrestling" from 1957 to 1970, which featured wrestling favorites such as "Dick the Bruiser," "The Sheik" and Wilbur Snyder.

Marlowe's name is connected to other Indianapolis media favorites, icons of TV before the days of social media and cable television. Janie (Hodges), Cowboy Bob (Glaze) and Sammy Terry (Bob Carter) were all part of the iconic independent television station WTTV, where Marlowe was sports director on its nightly news broadcasts.

"I've been the luckiest person on the planet," Marlowe once said about his career in local TV. "I'm in that rare group of individuals who can say they loved their jobs every single day. Because I loved it, it was never work to me."

Marlowe's career began in 1952 at radio station WXLW. He also had stints at WGRT (Danville) and WHMB (Indianapolis). However, his 37 years at WTTV-4 defined his career. He was recognized by his peers with the Indiana Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Lifetime Achievement Award.

A graduate of Shortridge High School, Marlowe entered the school's Hall of Fame in 2014. The Sullivan native graduated from Butler University.

He is survived by his wife, Marian, a sister, four sons and their families. Additional survivors include a nephew, cousins, four stepchildren, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Private services are planned. A celebration of life service will be announced later.

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