Grant Wahl

Grant Wahl

Grant Wahl
Quick Facts About Grant Wahl
Celebrated Name Grant Wahl
Age 50 years old
Nick Name Grant Wahl
Birth Name Grant Wahl
Birth Date 1973-12-02
Gender Male
Profession Sports Journalist
Birth Nation USA
Nationality American
Place of Birth Mission, Kansas
Ethnicity American-White
Horoscope Sagittarius
Brother Eric
High School Shawnee Mission East High School
University Princeton University
Marital Status Married
Wife Celine Gounder
Net Worth $3 million
Source of Wealth TV Personality and Sports Career
Salary Over $350K
Height 5 feet 8 inches.
Weight 85 KG
Eye Color Blue
Hair Color Bald
Death Date 10th December 2022
Cause of Death Ruptured aortic aneurysm

Grant Wahl was a sports journalist from the United States, who had made significant contributions to the field of sports journalism. He worked as a senior writer for Sports Illustrated and a correspondent for Fox Sports, covering sports events in New York City. He was also a soccer analyst for CBS Sports, where he shared his expertise on soccer. In 2009, he authored the book "The Beckham Experiment", which received critical acclaim for its insightful analysis of the sports industry. His career as a journalist was marked by his focus on college basketball and soccer in the United States. He even ran for the FIFA presidency in 2011, although he withdrew his campaign after failing to receive an endorsement from a football association. In 2020, he left Sports Illustrated to start his own podcast and Substack newsletter, which was highly popular among his followers. Sadly, he passed away on December 10, 2022, due to a ruptured aortic aneurysm while covering the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Lusail, Qatar. His untimely demise was a huge loss to the sports journalism industry, and he will always be remembered for his insightful reporting and analysis.

Who is Grant Wahl?

Grant Wahl was a well-known sports journalist and soccer analyst from the United States, who worked for CBS Sports, Sports Illustrated, and Fox Sports in New York City. He authored the book "The Beckham Experiment," and was covering the 2022 FIFA World Cup when he passed away due to a ruptured aortic aneurysm on December 10, 2022. The news of his untimely demise spread quickly, leaving many wanting to know more about his life and career. Despite his unfortunate passing, Wahl's legacy in sports journalism will continue to inspire and impact many for years to come. 

Grant Wahl opened his eyes for the first time on December 2, 1973. He was born and raised in Mission, Kansas, USA, to his parents whose details are currently unknown. He grew up with his older brother, Eric. As an American, he belonged to the American-White ethnicity. Wahl celebrated his 49th birthday in 2022, and his zodiac sign was Sagittarius. Growing up, he was a fan of the Kansas City Comets, a local indoor soccer team. He attended Shawnee Mission East High School and was an Eagle Scout. After graduating high school, he enrolled in Princeton University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Politics in 1996. His interest in soccer began during his time at Princeton, where he played for the school's soccer team. After graduation, he started his career in journalism, beginning with a job at The Daily Oklahoman in Oklahoma City. He eventually moved on to work at Sports Illustrated, where he covered soccer for 23 years. He also wrote several books, including The Beckham Experiment and Masters of Modern Soccer, which were both well-received by readers and critics.

Grant Wahl was an American sports journalist who had made a name for himself through his extensive coverage of soccer. Wahl’s passion for soccer began when he covered the Princeton Tigers men’s soccer team during his first year at Princeton University. He had the opportunity to study abroad in Argentina, where he spent time with Boca Juniors, and later covered the 1994 FIFA World Cup. He began his career working with the Miami Herald as an intern in 1996 and joined Sports Illustrated in November of the same year as a fact-checker. He covered 12 NCAA basketball tournaments, eight FIFA Men's World Cups, four FIFA Women's World Cups, and five Olympic games throughout his career. His early work at Sports Illustrated gained critical acclaim, particularly his 1998 cover story “Where’s Daddy?” which documented the growing number of illegitimate children born to professional athletes. He received four Magazine Story of the Year awards from the U.S. Basketball Writers Association. He was promoted to the senior writer in 2000, where he primarily covered soccer for both the magazine and In 2002, Wahl wrote a cover story on LeBron James, which was one of the earliest national pieces on the high school basketball player who would go on to become one of the greatest basketball players of all time.

Wahl took a year-long break from Sports Illustrated to accompany his wife Celine Gounder during a research trip to South Africa in 2008. During this time, he wrote his first book, "The Beckham Experiment" (2009), which focused on the impact of David Beckham's move to the LA Galaxy in Major League Soccer. The book became a New York Times Best Seller. In October 2009, while covering the fourth round of the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification, Wahl was robbed of his phone and wallet at gunpoint in broad daylight in Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

In 2011, Wahl announced a possible bid to become President of FIFA, which would have unseated incumbent Sepp Blatter. Although he failed to earn an endorsement from a football association, his bid prompted FIFA to amend its presidential nomination process to require the endorsement of at least five associations. In 2013, Sports Illustrated launched its soccer section, named "Planet Fútbol", with Wahl at the helm. Wahl published his second book, Masters of Modern Soccer, in 2018, which featured interviews with top players and evaluations of their playing styles. Wahl was fired from Sports Illustrated in April 2020 after criticizing James Heckman, CEO of the magazine's publisher Maven, for his handling of pay cuts during the coronavirus pandemic. He joined CBS Sports in October 2021, where he became an analyst for its coverage of CONCACAF soccer matches and an editorial consultant for soccer documentaries to air on Paramount+. Wahl established his own independent newsletter on Substack, named "Fútbol" with Grant Wahl for his existing podcast, in August 2021. In 2020, he released a podcast series on the career of Freddy Adu that was distributed by Blue Wire Media. In 2022, while covering the United States in the FIFA World Cup, he was briefly detained in Qatar for wearing a rainbow-patterned T-shirt in support of the LGBT community. In his final piece titled "They just don't care", which was published on December 8, Grant Wahl criticized the leaders of Qatar for their indifference towards the deaths of migrant laborers working on construction sites in the country. 

What are the Awards and Recognition of Grant Wahl?

  • Grant Wahl was posthumously honored with the Colin Jose Media Award by the National Soccer Hall of Fame on January 25, 2023. He will be formally recognized at Hall's 2023 induction ceremony on May 6.
  • The United States Soccer Federation left an open press box seat decorated with Wahl's framed photo, flowers, and a USMNT jersey bearing his last name at a friendly match between the U.S. Men's National Team and Serbia on January 25, 2023. This gesture will be repeated at every home match involving the U.S. men's or women's teams through the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which the U.S. will co-host with Canada and Mexico.
  • Major League Soccer also reserved an empty press box seat for Wahl at each match of the league's 2023 season-opening weekend.
  • The fourth episode of the third season of Ted Lasso was dedicated to Grant Wahl. 

Who was Grant Wahl married to?

Grant Wahl was married to his Princeton schoolmate, Céline Gounder, who is a journalist and a medical doctor specializing in infectious diseases and global health at New York University. The couple tied the knot in 2001, and they were together until the death of Grant in 2022. Wahl's spouse, Céline Gounder, has been an important influence on Grant Wahl's career. During their year-long research trip to South Africa in 2008, Wahl wrote his first book, The Beckham Experiment, while Gounder conducted research on HIV/AIDS. They continue to support each other's endeavors, with Wahl frequently referencing Gounder's expertise on global health and infectious diseases in his own work. 

How did Grant Wahl die?

Grant Wahl, an American soccer journalist, passed away suddenly while covering a quarterfinal match at the Lusail Iconic Stadium in Qatar. Despite the quick response of local paramedics who treated him for 30 minutes, Wahl was pronounced dead on December 10, 2022, at Hamad General Hospital. Following his death, Wahl's brother Eric stated that he believed Grant had received death threats and was killed. However, the U.S. State Department saw "no indication of foul play or anything nefarious at this point" and his autopsy in the U.S. determined that the cause of death was a ruptured aortic aneurysm.

Grant Wahl's sudden death shocked the soccer community, with FIFA President Gianni Infantino, the U.S. Soccer Federation, Major League Soccer, and fellow journalists around the world paying tribute to his career. Wahl's body was repatriated to the United States under the escort of a consular official, and a video tribute was played during television broadcasts in the United States by Fox Sports. Wahl's assigned seat at Al Bayt Stadium during a quarterfinal match between France and England was also adorned with flowers and a photo. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken shared his condolences on Twitter following the repatriation of Wahl's remains, and Wahl's family has called for transparency in the investigation of his death. 

How much was Grant Wahl net worth?

Grant Wahl had a net worth of $3 million at the time of his death as per the sources. His main source of wealth was his career as a TV personality, sports journalist, and soccer analyst. According to our average wage estimates, Wahl received an annual salary of more than $350,000. However, his income may have varied depending on his seniority in the field. Despite his financial success, Wahl was known for living a modest lifestyle. His focus on his work and passion for soccer seemed to take precedence over material wealth. He was dedicated to his profession, covering multiple World Cups and conducting interviews with some of the biggest names in the sport. He was respected by his peers and had a significant impact on soccer journalism in the United States. While his net worth may have been modest compared to other TV personalities, his contribution to the world of sports journalism was immeasurable.

How tall was Grant Wahl?

Grant Wahl was a handsome man of moderate height, standing at 5 feet 8 inches. He weighed around 85 kg or 187 lbs, indicating that he had a moderately healthy body weight. He was known for his distinctive physical features, including his bald head and striking blue eyes, which made him easily recognizable. Despite his average height, he made a name for himself in the field of sports journalism through his insightful analysis and reporting. Although his physical attributes were not extraordinary, his talent and dedication to his work made him a respected figure in the sports industry. He was admired for his ability to provide unique insights and opinions on sports events and his passion for his work was evident in his writing. 

5 Facts About Grant Wahl

1. His book "The Beckham Experiment" was a New York Times best-seller

Grant Wahl's book, "The Beckham Experiment," was a highly acclaimed bestseller that offered an inside look at David Beckham's transition to playing for the Los Angeles Galaxy in Major League Soccer. The book was published in 2009 and received positive reviews for its insightful analysis of Beckham's impact on American soccer and the challenges he faced in his new environment. The book explored the complex relationship between Beckham and his team, the Galaxy, and the impact that his high-profile arrival had on the sport in the United States. It also offered a critical look at the behind-the-scenes decisions and management strategies that went into bringing Beckham to the Galaxy and how they ultimately shaped his experience in the United States. The success of "The Beckham Experiment" cemented Wahl's position as a respected sports journalist and author. His ability to provide an in-depth and nuanced perspective on the world of sports made him a highly sought-after commentator and analyst. The book remains a must-read for soccer fans and anyone interested in the inner workings of professional sports teams and their star players.

2. He was a fan of the Kansas City Comets which was a local indoor soccer

Grant Wahl's passion for soccer extended beyond his work as a sports journalist and analyst. He was a fan of the Kansas City Comets, a local indoor soccer team based in Kansas. The Comets played in the Major Indoor Soccer League and were known for their high-energy games and enthusiastic fan base. As a native of Kansas, Wahl took pride in supporting his local team and often shared his thoughts and insights about their performance with his followers. His love for the Comets was a testament to his dedication to the sport of soccer and his commitment to supporting its growth at all levels. His enthusiasm for the team and its players helped to foster a sense of community and camaraderie among soccer fans in the Kansas City area, and he was admired for his ability to bring people together through his passion for the sport. Even as he became a prominent figure in the world of sports journalism, Wahl never lost his love for the game and continued to support his local team throughout his career.

3. He received four Magazine Story of the Year awards

Grant Wahl was a highly decorated sports journalist who received numerous accolades for his outstanding work. He was the recipient of four Magazine Story of the Year awards from the U.S. Basketball Writers Association, a prestigious honor that recognizes excellence in sports writing. Wahl's ability to craft compelling and insightful stories about basketball and other sports made him one of the most respected voices in the industry. His writing was known for its depth, nuance, and attention to detail, and he had a gift for capturing the essence of a game or a player in a way that few others could. His work inspired countless others to pursue careers in sports journalism and served as a model for excellence in the field.

4. Wahl first encountered Bob Bradley during his college years

Grant Wahl's love for sports was ignited during his college years when he had the opportunity to meet Bob Bradley, a highly respected American coach. Bradley's passion for the game and his commitment to excellence inspired Wahl and sparked his own interest in the world of sports. Bradley's influence would stay with Wahl throughout his career as a journalist, shaping his perspective on the role that sports can play in people's lives. As a result of these chance encounters with Bradley, Wahl became deeply invested in the world of sports and committed himself to pursuing a career in sports journalism. He dedicated himself to covering a range of sports, including college basketball and soccer in the United States, and became one of the most respected voices in the industry. Despite his success, Wahl never forgot the impact that Bradley had on his life and career and remained grateful for the opportunity to learn from one of the greatest coaches of his time.

5. Grant Wahl was the victim of a broad daylight armed robbery while covering the 4th round of the 2010 FIFA World Cup

During his coverage of the 4th round of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, Grant Wahl found himself the target of a shocking armed robbery. In broad daylight, Wahl was robbed at gunpoint and lost both his phone and wallet in the process. Despite this traumatic experience, Wahl continued to report on the World Cup and remained committed to his work as a journalist. This incident served as a stark reminder of the risks and dangers that journalists face in their line of work. Despite the challenges, Wahl continued to pursue his passion for sports journalism and remained a respected voice in the industry.