In addition to hosting studio programming and covering college football, basketball and the NHL, Saunders was also a mainstay of Sunday morning coverage as host of "The Sports Reporters."
"John was an extraordinary talent and his friendly, informative style has been a warm welcome to sports fans for decades," said John Skipper, president of ESPN and co-chairman of Disney Media Networks, in a statement.
Saunders joined ESPN in 1986 and went on to co-host "NFL Primetime." He also anchored "SportsCenter."
The details surrounding his death are unclear -- but officials say he died in New York and there is no suspicion of foul play, according to TMZ.com.
Saunders was an advocate for juvenile diabetes research and was a founding board member of the Jimmy V Foundation for cancer research, a charity that has raised almost 90 million dollars with 100 percent of the charity funding cancer research.
Saunders lived in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, with his wife and children.
Read more at espn.com.
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