When Ed Kilgore took the weekend sports anchor seat at WGR-TV in 1973, Buffalo’s professional sports teams were emerging on the national sports scene. The NHL Sabres and NBA Braves were in their fourth season as expansion teams and the Bills finished a respectable second in the NFL’s American Football Conference East Division. Covering professional, collegiate and high school sports with equal enthusiasm seemed to be part of Kilgore’s persona. Behind the sports anchor desk, Kilgore had his finger on the pulse of Buffalo sports for four decades reporting the good, the bad and the controversial.
Born and raised in Oregon, Kilgore attended high school in Macon, Missouri, and continued his education at the University of Missouri on a partial baseball scholarship. After graduating with a Journalism degree, Kilgore landed his first two positions in the business as an anchor and photographer with the NBC affiliate in San Antonio in 1970 and in 1972 with the Houston ABC affiliate.
He came to Buffalo in 1973 as a weekend sports anchor and host of “Bowling for Dollars”. A year later, Kilgore was filling the role of the station’s sports director. During his tenure at Channel 2, Kilgore hosted several shows including The Lou Saban and Chuck Knox shows, the Sabres TV broadcasts from 1977 to 1987 and The Jim Kelly Show from 1987 to 1997.
In 1993, his three-part series on sports memorabilia collecting brought more fans and accolades Kilgore’s way including a New York Emmy for “Best Sports Reporting,” followed by several Associated Press and United Press International sports reporting awards.
While his sports reporting often chronicled the struggles of athletes to succeed, he was equally committed to the struggles waged by teens and young people fighting drug and alcohol addictions. For more than 20 years, Kilgore participated in fundraising efforts for Kids Escaping Drugs. In 2010, at age 62, Kilgore organized a successful expedition to Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa (19,340 ft.) reaching the summit successfully and raising more than $40,000 for Kids Escaping Drugs.
Inducted into the Broadcasters Hall of Fame in 2010, Kilgore authored his first book “As I’ve Seen It: Wide Right, No Goal and Other Buffalo Sports Sagas,” which allows readers revealing behind-the-scenes glimpses into many banner moments involving the Buffalo Bills, Sabres, Bisons and Braves.
Kilgore is currently the Vice President of Public Relations for East Management Services LP an independent oil and gas exploration and development company. He and his wife Debbie live in Orchard Park and have a daughter Shannon who currently lives in Geneva Switzerland and is engaged to be married.