John Saunders: 5 things you may not have known about the ESPN legend

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 28: ESPN host John Saunders speaks on stage at the Paley Prize Gala honoring ESPN's 35th anniversary presented by Roc Nation Sports on May 28, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Paley Center for Media)

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NEW YORK, NY - MAY 28: ESPN host John Saunders speaks on stage at the Paley Prize Gala honoring ESPN's 35th anniversary presented by Roc Nation Sports on May 28, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Paley Center for Media)

John Saunders, who over a 30-year career on ESPN became one of the most recognizable faces of sports broadcasting, died Wednesday. He was 61.

Saunders was known for his play-by-play broadcasting and his work anchoring ESPN’s SportsCenter.

Here are five things you  may not have known about him.

1. He was born in Canada.

2. He played hockey in the junior hockey leagues in Montreal.

3. He was a founding member of The V Foundation for  Cancer Research.

4. He worked at ESPN for 30 years, and in that time he covered college basketball; the WNBA; the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs; the Final Four the World Series and the MLB All-Star Game, among numerous other sports.

5. He suffered from depression. Saunders recently co-wrote a book called, "Playing Hurt: My Journey from Despair to Hope," about the disease. It is be be released in April 2017. The publisher's synopsis of the book reads: "His story unfolds as so many of our lives do—among family, friends, and colleagues—but it also peers into places we don't often discuss openly—psych wards and hospitals. Here is the honest story of a public figure facing his own mental illness head on, and emerging far better off for his effort."

ExploreHere is how the news broke on ESPN.

Sources: ESPN; AP