Former Trojan Richard “Dick” Danehe, a 1941 USC letterman and World War II veteran who went on to play professional football before embarking on a successful career in the private sector and as a national broadcaster, died June 20 and was honored with a memorial service Saturday by his family and friends.
Danehe was almost 98 years old at his passing and among USC’s oldest living lettermen. He lettered for the Trojans as a starting center in 1941 following time as a linebacker and center on the freshman squad in 1939.
Born in Memphis, Tenn., he prepped at Hickman High School in Columbia, Mo., before moving west to attend USC. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1942 and in 1944, he worked with wounded Air Corps combat soldiers in the aquatic rehabilitation unit. He served in the Air Corps Personnel Distribution Command in 1945 before an honorable discharge in 1946.
Danehe played professionally from 1946-49 with the Los Angeles Bulldogs (1946) of the Pacific Coast Professional Football League and then the Los Angeles Dons (1947-48) and the Chicago Rockets (1949) in the All-American Football Conference.
He embarked on a long and successful career in advertising sales, but he became well known for his work in broadcasting. He worked for ABC, CBS and NBC covering a variety of events, including color commentator in the 1955 USC-Ohio State Rose Bowl. He worked in a variety of studio shows and was most well-known nationally as the host of All Star Golf, working closely with golf legends like Sam Snead and Arnold Palmer.
He served as radio commentator on USC football games with Trojan Athletic Hall of Fame member Mike Walden from 1970-72. Danehe was in the booth with Walden for USC’s historic 1970 season-opening win at Alabama.
Danehe is survived by his son Richard Jr., his daughter Karen Danehe Tashjian ’76 and son-in-law Larry Dee Tashjian ’76, as well as five grandchildren and four great grandchildren.