LEVINE, LESTER “LES” (12 November 1946-3 February 2021) was a Cleveland sports media personality.
Born to Jack and Beverly Levine, Les grew up in South Euclid, and graduated from Brush High School and Ohio State University. After teaching briefly, he got his first radio job in 1970 at a station in Jasper, Indiana. He returned to Northeast Ohio the following year as sports director and sales manager at WKNT in Akron. He worked for a multitude of local radio stations, including WKDD, WSLR, WWWE, WHK and WERE.
Levine was a fixture on pregame and postgame shows for the CLEVELAND BROWNS, INDIANS and CAVALIERS, and called football and basketball games for Kent State University as well as basketball games for CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY, most memorably during the 1985-86 season, when the Vikings advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. He also called games for the World Hockey Association’s CLEVELAND CRUSADERS, the Cleveland Thunderbolts of the Arena Football League and the city’s professional softball team, known variously as the Cleveland Jaybirds and Competitors (when they were owned by TED STEPIEN).
His talk show, “More Sports & Les Levine,” began on WERE in 1991. Five years later, a television version started, airing on Fox Sports Ohio, Cablevision, Adelphia, Time Warner and Spectrum Sports, as well as Cleveland.com.
He was inducted into the JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER Softball Hall of Fame, Radio & Television Broadcasters Hall of Fame in Ohio and Greater Cleveland Slo-Pitch Softball Hall of Fame. He served as vice president of the GREATER CLEVELAND SPORTS HALL OF FAME Board of Directors, and received the 2019 Excellence in Broadcasting Award for Radio from the Cleveland Association of Broadcasters.
He wrote a column for the News-Herald in Lake County, and from 2011 until his death, for the CLEVELAND JEWISH NEWS.
He had a son Jeremy and daughter Jamie from his first marriage, and married the former Allison Skully, in 1999. He has two stepchildren. He is buried in Mount Olive Cemetery in Solon.