The 'Voice of Stanford Stadium' is silenced

Veteran public-address announcer Ed Macaulay dies at 91

By Chris Preimesberger

Special to Embarcadero Media

Edward H. Macaulay, who at one time resided in Menlo Park for 35 years, made a name for himself with his voice. Anyone who attended Stanford football games from 1952 to 1990 and for one final season in 1992, probably remembers hearing his distinctive voice boom over the stadium loudspeakers.

That familiar voice was silenced on Jan. 14 as Mr. Macaulay, a pioneering Bay Area sports television producer and ad executive who for 40 seasons served as the public-address "Voice of Stanford Stadium" for the Indians' and then Cardinal football games, died at his home in San Mateo following a stroke. He was 91.

A memorial service is planned for March 27 at Valley Presbyterian Church, 945 Portola Road in Portola Valley, where the Macaulays were longtime members. He served as an elder at the church and was active on the fellowship committee, hosting numerous Stanford football tailgate parties with his wife.

He was well-known for his booming voice, accurate narration of game play-by-play, sense of humor, and for jokingly announcing the Slippery Rock (Pa.) College football scores during timeouts at Stanford games. He announced his first Stanford football game in September 1952 and continued in that job until 1990. During that span, he missed only one game -- and that due to a severe case of laryngitis.

When a Stanford administrator replaced him before the 1991 season, a number of football fans protested the decision and mounted a letter-writing campaign to have him reinstated. Stanford eventually relented, and he was asked to return to the public-address microphone for his 40th season in 1992. He retired following that season.

Mr. Macaulay enjoyed recalling highlights of Stanford football history during his time in the press box, including the Cardinal's 43-31 upset of No. 1-ranked Washington in 1982; the postponement for a week of the 1963 Big Game against California, due to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy; and numerous games against California, UCLA, USC and Notre Dame.

He also announced the U.S. Olympic Track and Field trials in 1960 and the legendary U.S. vs. U.S.S.R. track meet in 1962, during the height of the Cold War between the two countries. Both were held in Stanford Stadium.

Mr. Macaulay and his longtime friend and business associate, the late Lloyd McGovern, were instrumental in establishing the Stanford University Athletics Hall of Fame in the late 1990s. Mr. Macaulay regularly served as a docent there in his later years.

He was a longtime advertising executive with NBC (KNBR Radio, NBC television and radio) in the 1960s and 1970s. At other times during his career, he served as vice-president for radio and television at Pledger & Associates Advertising in San Francisco and owned his own consultancy, GoMac Enterprises, in which he produced the first televised broadcasts of the San Jose Earthquakes professional soccer team.

Born in Alameda, California, in 1919, he attended Alameda High School, San Mateo Junior College, Wake Forest University, and UC San Francisco, graduating in 1942 with a degree in economics. He joined the U.S. Air Force during World War II, serving three years in the European theater against Germany and Italy.

Mr. Macaulay is survived by his wife of 45 years, Hazel; sons Gordon and Duncan Macaulay; daughter Robin Macaulay Polastri of Half Moon Bay; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

The family requests that donations be made in his name to Valley Presbyterian Church, 945 Portola Road, Portola Valley, CA 94028.

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Like this comment
Posted by Duncan Macaulay
a resident of another community
on Jan 23, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Just wanted you to know that our information about Ed Macaulay regarding his education and service during WWII is wrong. He was a member of the Army, not the Army Air Corps. He didn't graduate from UC SF in '42. Where did you get this information? Being his son, I'd like to know. This is news to me

Like this comment
Posted by poster
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Jan 23, 2011 at 7:30 pm

Please send an email to with your email address and phone number, and any corrections in the obituary. I'm checking into this.

Like this comment
Posted by Chris Preimesberger
a resident of another community
on Jan 25, 2011 at 5:38 pm

Hi Duncan: Better talk to Ed's stepdaughter, Robin Polastri. She had the source of the info here. We used a handwritten note from Ed himself about his service and education records.

It reads, and I quote: "Wake Forest College, 1940-41 Econ in the Air Force; European Theatre of Operations, 3 years; Univ. of California S.F. Russ Blvd. Degree in Econ, 1942."

That's our source.

Chris Preimesberger
Assoc. Sports Information Director
Stanford University

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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