IRL: IMS Radio reporter Forbes dies

Longtime IMS Radio Network reporter Forbes dies INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, Jan. 14, 2005 -- Longtime Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network reporter Robert C. "Bob" Forbes died Jan. 13 in Terre Haute, Ind. He was 76. Forbes served on the IMS...

Longtime IMS Radio Network reporter Forbes dies

INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, Jan. 14, 2005 -- Longtime Indianapolis Motor Speedway Radio Network reporter Robert C. "Bob" Forbes died Jan. 13 in Terre Haute, Ind. He was 76.

Forbes served on the IMS Radio Network from 1971-94, filing Indianapolis 500 reports for anchors Sid Collins, Paul Page, Lou Palmer and Bob Jenkins.

In 1971, Forbes started with the Radio Network as its first wireless reporter. He filed reports from around the vast Speedway grounds during the Indianapolis 500, including the pits, Gasoline Alley, infield medical center and grandstands.

One of Forbes' most memorable interviews came in 1979, with former United States President Gerald R. Ford. He also reported from the back seat of the Buick Riviera convertible Pace Car during the parade and pace laps in 1983, the only time the Radio Network has broadcast from the Pace Car during the Indianapolis 500.

Forbes also conducted the Victory Lane interview in 1988 and 1989 with winners Rick Mears and Emerson Fittipaldi, respectively.

Forbes retired from the Radio Network in 1994 and was honored in May 1995 when he was presented with his IMS Radio Network reporter's fire suit in a glass case.

A graduate of Indiana State University, Forbes was a renowned radio and television broadcaster in Terre Haute for decades. He started his radio career with WBOW-AM before being hired by WTHI-AM in Terre Haute in 1947.

Forbes became the "Voice of the Sycamores" while broadcasting Indiana State athletics and called many memorable sporting events, including the march by the Sycamores to the NCAA Division I basketball championship game in 1979, led by the legendary Larry Bird. He continued to call broadcasts of ISU athletics until 1988. Forbes was inducted into the Indiana State University Athletics Hall of Fame in 1984.

Forbes also served as the sports director for WTHI television from 1954-85 and also broadcasted for WTHI-FM radio, both in Terre Haute. He also announced races at the Terre Haute Action Track.

Survivors include his wife, Jo Ann; son Kevin, who is director of engineering and construction for the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and his fiancee, Ruthie Culbertson, of Cloverdale, Ind., son Randall and his wife, Karen, of Terre Haute, daughter Leslie Ann Marguerite Almack and her husband, Tim, of Noblesville, Ind., five grandchildren and four step-grandchildren.

A memorial service will take place at 1 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 16 at the Callahan & Hughes Funeral Home, 605 S. 25th St., Terre Haute, Ind.

-ims-

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About this article
Series IndyCar , General , USAC
Drivers Rick Mears , Emerson Fittipaldi
Article type Obituary