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Howie Schwab, ESPN Researcher and Trivia Star, Dies at 63

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Howie Schwab, a sports activities nerd who parlayed his love of statistics into a protracted stint at ESPN that was most notable for his starring function as the last word trivia skilled on the sport present “Stump the Schwab,” died on Saturday in Aventura, Fla. He was 63.

His loss of life was introduced on social media by his spouse, Suzie Davie-Schwab. His mom, Dona (Bressner) Schwab, mentioned he was in a hospital being handled for an an infection when he died, apparently of a coronary heart assault.

Mr. Schwab had been at ESPN for 17 years in behind-the-scenes roles as a researcher and producer when he was tapped in 2004 to star in his personal present.

On “Stump the Schwab,” three challengers vied to outdo Mr. Schwab in answering questions posed by the host, Stuart Scott, within the opening rounds. Within the ultimate spherical — known as the Schwab Showdown — one of the best of the three went face to face in opposition to him for a $25,000 grand prize. Mr. Schwab virtually all the time gained.

Within the episode that determined the 2005 season’s champion, Mr. Schwab entered the studio firstly of the present sporting a purple boxing gown, with a girl on every arm; he then doffed the gown, revealing a Derek Jeter jersey, and shadowboxed.

“I’m able to rumble,” he advised Mr. Scott.

Mr. Schwab didn’t appear to be a typical tv star: He was obese, wore glasses and sported a goatee.

In a evaluate of “Stump the Schwab” for The New York Instances in 2005, Marc Weingarten wrote: “The attraction of the present lies in its fastidiously cultivated reverse snobbery. Watching Mr. Schwab gun down all comers is a bit like watching Homer Simpson prevail over Ken Jennings, the all-time ‘Jeopardy!’ champion, in a school quiz bowl.”

The present ran from 2004 to 2006 and was then seen in reruns.

“All people needs to stump me,” Mr. Schwab advised The Tampa Bay Instances in 2007. “Folks come up and say, ‘What shoe dimension was So-and-So in 1941?’ I’m like, ‘Obtained me.’ See, I don’t know every thing.”

The depth and breadth of Mr. Schwab’s sports activities information translated into offering statistics “that made sports activities followers smarter each evening, the type of data actually good sports activities followers may use when speaking to different followers who beloved sports activities,” John Walsh, a former government editor of ESPN, mentioned in a cellphone interview.

As ESPN’s first workers researcher after which because the supervisor of its analysis division, Mr. Schwab contributed to numerous applications, together with “SportsCenter” and “School GameDay,” and labored with particular person sportscasters. He was significantly shut with the faculty basketball analyst Dick Vitale.

Howard Arlen Schwab was born on Sept. 17, 1960, in Brooklyn, and grew up in Baldwin, N.Y., on Lengthy Island. His mom was a highschool trainer and administrator, and his father, Theodore, a German immigrant and Holocaust survivor, owned a wholesale photographic accent enterprise.

Dona Schwab mentioned that as a toddler Howard “was a horrible athlete, however he loved taking part in on the street,” the place he was the goalie in road hockey video games. At summer time camp, he delivered the day gone by’s scores to different campers over a loudspeaker.

“He had a photographic reminiscence,” she added. “He may let you know each seat he sat in for each sport he attended.”

At St. John’s College, the place he earned a bachelor’s diploma in athletic administration, Mr. Schwab wrote for The Torch, the campus newspaper, and broke the information in 1981 that the hotly recruited highschool basketball star Chris Mullin was going to play for the college.

After the varsity’s basketball coach, Lou Carnesecca, learn the article, Mr. Schwab advised the St. John’s web site in 2019, he known as Mr. Schwab into his workplace and mentioned: “It’s not a completed deal. What if he modifies his thoughts?” Mr. Schwab stood by the story. And Mr. Mullin signed the following day.

After graduating in 1982, Mr. Schwab was employed by School & Professional Soccer Newsweekly, the place he was a senior editor from 1982 to 1985 and the editor in chief from 1986 to 1987.

ESPN employed him in 1987 as a contract researcher, promoted him to workers researcher the following 12 months, and put him accountable for its rising analysis division in 1991. 4 years later, he was named coordinating producer of espn.com. He moved as much as coordinating producer of studio manufacturing in 1998.

Keith Olbermann, the former “SportsCenter” anchor, wrote on the social media platform X, “Merely, ESPN by no means rises to the heights it did, nor exists right now, with out him.”

Dan Patrick, one other former ESPN anchor, mentioned on his radio present on Monday: “Howie was Sports activities Google earlier than Sports activities Google. Google would have Googled Howie Schwab.”

In 2013, Mr. Schwab and about 300 different ESPN workers had been laid off. Angrily, he wrote on Twitter, “I used to be a loyal worker, displayed respect for others, labored with quite a few charities, represented the corporate nicely. I all the time did every thing requested of me and extra. What did I get in return right now … Phrase that I ought to get misplaced.”

Within the following years, Mr. Vitale employed him to assist together with his sport preparation, in addition to together with his books, his web site and his charitable work to defeat pediatric most cancers. Mr. Schwab was additionally on the board of Make-A-Want Connecticut.

Mr. Schwab was employed in 2014 as a advisor to “Sports activities Jeopardy!,” a sport present Mr. Patrick hosted on the digital service Crackle. He was additionally the bracketologist for Fox Sports activities throughout its protection of the N.C.A.A. males’s basketball match in 2018 and 2019.

Along with his spouse and his mom, Mr. Schwab is survived by his sister, Elysa Schwab. His father died final 12 months. His first spouse, Jodi Singer, died in 2014.

A few decade after “Stump the Schwab” ended manufacturing in 2006, Mr. Schwab reprised it when a buddy, Jerry Capozzalo, whom he knew from a fantasy sports activities league, invited him to his daughter Denise’s engagement celebration and requested him to stage a “Stump”-like contest. She had been a fan of the sequence.

“He couldn’t attend, however he despatched her a tape the place he posed trivia questions for the group on the celebration,” Mr. Capozzalo mentioned by cellphone. “They beloved it. They obtained a number of the solutions, however he stumped most of them.”

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