LOS ANGELES — No wonder it’s raining here in Southern California…
Once again, tears from the hockey gods are falling onto Southern California, as Los Angeles Kings public address announcer David Courtney died today of a pulmonary embolism at the age of 56.
Courtney’s Twitter feed provided a hint as to what happened (see below).
Courtney was the PA announcer for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, the Los Angeles Clippers, as well as the long-time PA announcer for the Kings, dating back to 1989, when the Kings still played at what was then known as the Great Western Forum, in Inglewood, California.
But Courtney began working for the Kings’ public relations department while he was still attending Beverly Hills High School, long before he took on the PA announcer duties many years later, admirably filling the big shoes, and the booming voice of John Ramsey (Courtney followed Dennis Packer, who was the PA announcer for a relatively short time), who was the PA announcer for just about every sports team here in the Los Angeles area, whether it was at the Forum, Dodger Stadium, or the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, back when both UCLA and USC football teams, not to mention the Los Angeles Rams, called it their home.
When he wasn’t behind the microphone at an arena, you might have heard him doing traffic reports on several Los Angeles area radio stations.
But Courtney was best known for his work with the Kings, and starting in 1994, the Angels.
“David was tremendously passionate about the Kings, our fans and the game of hockey,” said Luc Robitaille, Kings President/Business Operations. “His time with the Kings dates back to the mid 1970s, both in our PR office as our public relations director, and also with work he did in our video department before he took over full-time public announcing duties at the Forum and Staples Center.”
“In the arena, he was an institution—he was the voice of the Kings—and his work added so much to the live, in-game experience for our fans as it did for the Clippers and Angels as well,” added Robitaille. “Next season would have been David’s 35th year with our franchise, and on behalf of the entire Kings organization and AEG, we are incredibly saddened by this news, and we send our deepest condolences to his wife, Janet, and the rest of the Courtney family.”
The Angels also released a statement.
“The Angels family is deeply saddened to hear of David’s passing. He was a gentle soul, a consummate professional and an unforgettable voice tied to several professional Southern California sports teams. Over the past 18 years, his love, dedication and passion for the Angels was evident every time his voice rang through the ballpark. Our thoughts and prayers go out to David’s family at this difficult time.”
Later in the afternoon, the Clippers released a statement of their own.
“Today our organization lost a good friend. In his years as public address announcer for Clippers home games, David Courtney was a consummate professional who brought a unique passion and energy to every event. We are saddened by his passing, and we extend our deepest sympathies to his wife, Janet, and the rest of his family. David will be missed by the many people whose lives he touched.”
I was fortunate to have gotten to know David in recent years, hanging out with him in the Chick Hearn Media Room at Staples Center before and after Kings home games. David was always friendly and professional, and he always had a kind word for everyone. I especially enjoyed talking with him because we shared a lot of memories of the Kings dating back to the 1970s.
I will always remember him for those tremendous qualities, for his fine work, and just as important, that he went out holding the Stanley Cup, so to speak.
My deepest condolences to his wife, Janet, and the rest of the Courtney family.
Remembering David Courtney
Used with permission.
Frozen Royalty by Gann Matsuda is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. You may copy, distribute and/or transmit any story or audio content published on this site under the terms of this license, but only if proper attribution is indicated. The full name of the author and a link back to the original article on this site are required. Photographs, graphic images, and other content not specified are subject to additional restrictions. Additional information is available at: Frozen Royalty – Licensing and Copyright Information.
Thank you for this, Gann.
I will miss David very much.
Sad, not only for all of us who will miss his announcing, but especially for his family, who lost a loved one prematurely. Grateful that he was able to be announcing when the Kings won the Cup, saddened that he will miss raising the banner.