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Feb. 17, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Milton `Mickey' Bergstein, former radio voice for the Penn State football and men's basketball teams, passed away Tuesday, Feb. 14, at the age of 89 in State College, Pa.
Bergstein had a 72-year relationship with Penn State, beginning with at the Smeal College of Business as a student and continuing through his many years as a radio broadcaster and instructor. Bergstein served as both analyst and play-by-play voice for the Nittany Lion teams.
A 1943 Penn State graduate, Bergstein was a member of the United States Marine Corps in World War II. He was a surviving member of the Marine Corps Regiment which became famous after several of its members were photographed raising the American flag during the Battle of Iwo Jima. Bergstein was wounded during the invasion, was promoted to 1st lieutenant, received five commendation medals and was awarded the Purple Heart.
Bergstein returned to State College an became an announcer at WMAJ in State College, eventually becoming general manager in a career spanning more than 25 years in local broadcasting. During Penn State's march to the 1954 NCAA Final Four, Bergstein re-created the games on-air from the WMAJ studio using play-by-play from a news teletype machine.
Bergstein served as the analyst for the Penn State football radio broadcast team from 1953-1955, working at the time with long-time Pittsburgh Pirates voice Bob Prince. He worked with the University to set-up its first football radio network in 1955. In 1956, he took over the play-by-play duties through 1958 and then returned as an analyst in 1959. After a brief respite from the football broadcast team, he returned to handle analyst duties from 1964-70, working the last five years with Fran Fisher.
He also broadcast Penn State wrestling and boxing matches and hosted the weekly Quarterback Club Luncheon for many years.
While he had a passion for Penn State athletics, Bergstein made an even bigger mark as an instructor at Penn State. He joined the Smeal College of Business as a full-time instructor in 1975 after 25 years as a part-time instructor in Marketing and retired in 2001.
Bergstein received his M.A. in Communications in 1950 from Penn State, served as Smeal's director of external relations, and helped lead the college's Executive Education program as well. He was named the university's prestigious Renaissance Person of the Year in 1988. Bergstein authored two well-known books, "Penn State Sports Stories and More" and "Living with Lions."
He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, who resides in State College, a son, Andrew, a senior instructor at the Smeal College of Business, a son, Michael and his wife of Milan, Italy, and a grandson, Ethan.
Visitation will be held Koch Funeral Home, 2401 South Atherton St. in State College on Saturday, Feb. 18, from 1:00-2:30 p.m, followed by funeral services at 2:30. Burial will be at the Centre County Memorial Park in State College.
Donations in his memory can be made to the Milton J. Bergstein Community Service Award--an annual Senior Award recognizing Smeal undergraduates for their service to the community. Donations can be made c/o Office One, Old Main, Penn State University, University Park, Pa. 16802. Please indicate on any donations the Bergstein Community Service Award.