COLUMBIA -- Bob Fulton, whose distinctive booming voice painted a picture of South Carolina's football and basketball triumphs and failures for more than 40 years on the radio, died Wednesday at his Lexington home. He was 89.
The Lexington County Coroner's office was called to Fulton's house shortly before 2 p.m., Coroner Harry Harman said.
He didn't have any additional details on the death.
Fulton called his first Gamecocks football game in 1952 and signed off for good in January 1995 after announcing South Carolina's first ever bowl win, a 24-21 victory over West Virginia in the Carquest Bowl.
Fulton watched his share of three- or four-win seasons over the years, but also saw some of the Gamecocks' greatest triumphs, like George Rogers' 1980 Heisman Trophy season or the 1984 team that went 10-2 and climbed to No. 2 in the polls late that year.
"He was just a great guy who had lots of stories and loved what he did," said Randy Herald, who was video coordinator for South Carolina from 1970 to 1998.
Fulton also called Gamecocks basketball games and even added baseball in 1974. He announced games under nine football coaches, 10 basketball coaches and 13 athletics directors.
South Carolina fans nicknamed Fulton "The Voice" and he won the South Carolina Sportscaster of the Year award eight times.
"A virtual walking encyclopedia of Gamecocks athletics, Bob had the unique ability to recall events and tell a story of the memorable moments in Carolina history," athletic director Eric Hyman said in a statement.
Fulton was born in Ridley Park, Pa., and called sports in New Jersey, Arkansas and Colorado before landing in Columbia in 1952 to broadcast minor league baseball, a job that parlayed into his Gamecocks career.
During his career, Fulton also called major league baseball games for the Mutual Broadcasting System and left South Carolina for two years in 1965 and 1966 to announce for Georgia Tech.
Fulton told a university alumni magazine some of his favorite football memories came early in his career. There was a 1952 game against Virginia where South Carolina scored three touchdowns in two minutes to turn a 14-0 deficit into a 21-14 win, or a 1953 win at West Virginia that pushed the team into The Associated Press top 20 for the first time. Fulton also had a fond spot for the Gamecocks' 1957 win at Texas, where the Gamecocks were four-touchdown underdogs.
In basketball, Fulton loved South Carolina's battles while it was in the Atlantic Coast Conference, like in 1968, when the Gamecocks beat Duke and North Carolina on the road in four days or a last-second layup that gave South Carolina the ACC championship.
Fulton didn't leave the microphone completely when he retired. In 2003, Clemson invited him to call one series of a Tigers game the Saturday after Jim Phillips, their longtime announcer and Fulton's close friend, died.
Fulton also sold thousands of fantasy tapes to South Carolina fans where from his home studio he would take the name of a fan and make him the hero of some of the Gamecocks' greatest moments.
"I enjoy it because it gives me a chance once again to do play-by-play, and in a sense it's like re-creating a game. I also try to work with announcers from time to time, and I enjoy doing that. I'm just in a stage of my life where I want to pay people back who have been so good to me all around the state," Fulton told the alumni magazine in 2009.
Friends said Fulton was in good health and was looking forward to his 90th birthday next month.
"I had lunch with him on Friday. He was doing great," Herald said. "He gave me a copy of the 1980 highlights when George Rogers won the Heisman. He is going to be missed."
Fulton is survived by two daughters, four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Funeral arrangements have not been completed.