David Courtney: 1956-2012

Photo courtesy L.A. Kings

David Courtney, the long-time public address announcer for the Kings, Angels and Clippers, died this morning from a pulmonary embolism. He was 56.

Courtney was en route to working  Wednesday night’s Clippers-Timberwolves game at Staples Center but was having shortness of breath and went to a local hospital to have an angiogram, which he mentioned on his Twitter account @sportsvoiceLA.

Courtney remained hospitalized overnight. His wife, Janet, called Kings play-by-play man Bob Miller early today to inform him of the news of his passing.

“It’s really a shock, any time when it’s someone that young,” Miller said from his West Hills home. “I think he was one of the top public address announcers in all of sports. He had a very distinctive voice and played it down the middle, which worked well in this city. It’s very sad, especially after he was able to see the team finally win the Stanley Cup.”

“When I didn’t see him at the game last night, that has happened from time to time and maybe nobody thought much about it,” said Clippers TV play-by-play man Ralph Lawler. “It is very sad news. He was a good and gentle man who loved being at the games. Angel and Clipper fans will miss him. We will all miss him.”

Courtney worked longest at the PA job for the Kings, starting in 1989 at the Forum. He was with the Angels at Angel Stadium since 1994 — having been part of the team’s 2002 World Series run. Courtney was in his fifth season doing Clippers’ games at Staples Center.

“The Angels family is deeply saddened to hear of David’s passing,” the team said in a statement. “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.”

Courtney, born in New York, moved to L.A. in 1963 when his father, Alan, became president of MGM Television.

He began working for the Kings starting as a 14-year-old out of Beverly Hills High in the team’s public relations department and began announcing the youth hockey games that came after Kings games.

Courtney became the backup PA for the legendary John Ramsay at Los Angeles sporting events and also did three years of Los Angeles Rams game in Anaheim before the team moved to St. Louis. He has announced at least one game for the Lakers, Dodgers, Raiders, USC football, UCLA basketball and the Pac-10 basketball tournament. He did both the 2002 NHL All-Star Game at Staples Center and the 2010 MLB All-Star game in Anaheim.

Courtney was also heard daily doing traffic updates on several local L.A. radio stations. His movie work included voice roles in “Tooth Fairy,” “Angels in the Outfield” and “61*”

Courtney was recently married and he and wife Janet lived in Mission Viejo.

Kings President of Business Operations Luc Robitaille called Courtney a “tremendously passionate about the Kings, our fans and the game of hockey. …  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.  

“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.”

Kings TV analyst Jim Fox called Courtney “a kind, generous, intelligent man who always gave so much of his time, no questions asked, to so many other people. I am proud to have worked beside David as he taught me so much about life.  My wife Susie and I send our condolences to Janet and the entire Courtney family.  The Kingdom has lost a truly great King.”

Courtesy of Angels

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