Long-time racing journalist Chris Economaki has died at the age of 91. Although he was primarily known in the United States of America, he spent many seasons attending the F1 races as a commentator with ESPN. A native of Brooklyn, Economaki came from a curious background: his father being an immigrant from Greece and his mother a relative of Confederate General Robert E Lee. He saw his first race, on a board track, at Atlantic City, when he was nine and later tried driving by realised that his talents lay elsewhere. He began writing in his teens and became the editor of National Speed Sport News in 1950, after serving in the US Army in Europe at the end of World War II. He eventually became owner, publisher, and editor of the magazine and passed it on to his daughter Corinne until it finally closed its doors in March last year.
Chris became a track commentator in the late 1940s and early 1950s and moved to television in 1961 with ABC Wide World of Sports, his commentaries including Indianapolis 500s, Daytona 500s, Formula 1 Grand Prix races, the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the East African Safari, and even the Bathurst 1000. He remained with ABC for more than 20 years before switching to CBS Sports and covered F1 with ESPN in the late 1980s before being replaced by Bob Varsha.