Tom York

Tom York
Class of 1996
Category: Distinguished Sportsmen

born: in Holland, MO

Born in Holland, Missouri in 1925. Following his service with the U.S. Navy as an aviation radioman and gunner during WWII, he got his start in broadcasting with WLAY in Florence, Alabama while attending Florence State Teachers College. This began his long journey in sports – and his deep love for the State of Alabama. In 1957, he came to Birmingham to WBRC-TV, where he would make his name as the best-known television personality in Alabama. He soon created “The Morning Show” and turned it into the longest running locally-produced show of its kind in the country. He became the state’s exercise guru, promoting physical fitness before it became popular. He used a gimmick – a song called “Chicken Fat” – which caught on with people all over the state. Before long over 500 physical education classes in Alabama schools were using the program. For his tireless work in fitness, Tom won the local, state, and national Jaycee Physical Fitness Leadership Award, co-sponsored by the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. In 1969, in keeping with his commitment to physical fitness and sports, Tom was a driving force in establish the Alabama Special Olympics. Also in 1969,York began his association with the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, where he hosted its yearly awards banquet. Tom wrote, produced, and MC’d the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame induction banquet from 1971-1995. In addition, his voice is heard throughout the Hall of Fame at the various video stations. In 1988, the U.S. Congress recognized his outstanding work by making “The Morning Show” part of the Congressional Record. In 1995, he received an Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts and Science for Lifetime Achievement. 

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Born in Holland, Missouri in 1925. Following his service with the U.S. Navy as an aviation radioman and gunner during WWII, he got his start in broadcasting with WLAY in Florence, Alabama while attending Florence State Teachers College. This began his long journey in sports – and his deep love for the State of Alabama. In 1957, he came to Birmingham to WBRC-TV, where he would make his name as the best-known television personality in Alabama. He soon created “The Morning Show” and turned it into the longest running locally-produced show of its kind in the country. He became the state’s exercise guru, promoting physical fitness before it became popular. He used a gimmick – a song called “Chicken Fat” – which caught on with people all over the state. Before long over 500 physical education classes in Alabama schools were using the program. For his tireless work in fitness, Tom won the local, state, and national Jaycee Physical Fitness Leadership Award, co-sponsored by the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. In 1969, in keeping with his commitment to physical fitness and sports, Tom was a driving force in establish the Alabama Special Olympics. Also in 1969,York began his association with the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, where he hosted its yearly awards banquet. Tom wrote, produced, and MC’d the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame induction banquet from 1971-1995. In addition, his voice is heard throughout the Hall of Fame at the various video stations. In 1988, the U.S. Congress recognized his outstanding work by making “The Morning Show” part of the Congressional Record. In 1995, he received an Emmy from the National Academy of Television Arts and Science for Lifetime Achievement. 

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