Budd Lynch called four Stanley Cup victories as the longtime radio and television voice of the Detroit Red Wings. A decorated veteran of World War II, he came to prominence as a popular news and sports broadcasted with CKLW in Windsor.
Lynch was born in Windsor on August 7, 1917. Lynch’s father worked for Canada Steamship Lines, which meant the family needed to move around frequently. In the first two years of his life, he lived in Chicago, Montreal, and Hamilton as well as Windsor. Lynch’s father died in 1919, when he was two years of age, and his family took up permanent residence in Hamilton.
At Hamilton’s Cathedral High School, Lynch quarterbacked the football team to the 1935 championship. During his first two years at the school, he played Juvenile hockey for Tip Top Tailors as a left-winger.
Lynch spent the summers of his high school years travelling the Great Lakes between Port Arthur and Montreal while working on freighters. Before his senior year, he worked as a bellhop on passenger boats that sailed between Toronto and the Saguenay River in Quebec.
After graduating in 1936, Lynch took a position with CHML Radio in Hamilton as a staff announcer. He broadcasted news, sports, weather, and special events like music and dance shows from Hamilton hotels. He was hired at CHML by Sports Director Percy LeSueur, a former NHL goaltender who won three Stanley Cups with the Ottawa Silver Seven (1906) and Ottawa Senators (’09 and ’11). In 1937 and ’38, Lynch worked Hamilton’s CKOC Radio, where he reported on news and sports.
Lynch moved to Windsor in 1939 to work in news and sports at CKLW. Since the station was affiliated with the Mutual Broadcasting Network, many of its programs were aired throughout Canada and the United States. Some of these programs included Lynch’s reporting.
From 1940 to ’45, Lynch served with the Canadian Army overseas in World War II. He attained a rank of Combat Major with the Second Battalion – Essex Scottish. In 1944, Lynch was wounded in the Battle of Caen in France, losing an arm and shoulder. He was transferred to England for the remainder of the War, where he worked for the BBC as a writer, producer, and correspondent reporting on the events of the War to the Armed Forces. In 1945, he received a citation from Prime Minister Winston Churchill and General Dwight Eisenhower as producer and announcer of the “Combat Diary Program,” which was beamed by BBC to Armed Forces around the World. Lynch was also honoured with the “Beaver Award” from the CBC for his contributions to the Armed Forces Network.
Lynch returned to Montreal in 1945, to become Supervisor – Forces Section for CBC Shortwave Services, but he returned to Windsor for a second tour of duty at CKLW Radio one year later. He assumed the role of Sports Director until ’49, joining a staff that included Joe Gentile and Toby David. Lynch personally called play-by-play for Windsor Spitfires Junior “A” hockey team during the 1946-47, ’47-48, and ’48-49 seasons.
In 1949, Ty Tyson, Sports Director of WWJ Radio & TV, persuaded Lynch to move to the United States to cover sports and special events. Lynch took the job and established a residence in Wyandotte, Michigan, where he still lived at the time of his induction into the Windsor/Essex County Sports Hall of Fame.
Lynch was the play-by-play voice of the Detroit Red Wings on radio and television between the 1949-50 and ’74-75 seasons. After two years of working with Al Nagler, he teamed up with his longtime partner Bruce Martyn. Lynch was behind the microphone for Detroit Red Wings Stanley Cup victories in 1950, ’52, ’54, and ’55.
In 1953, Lynch served as President of the Detroit Sports Broadcasters Association, a position he had previously held for the Windsor Jaycees in 1947.
In 1975, Lynch retired from play-by-play and became Director of Public Relations for the Red Wings. He remained in that post until 1985, when he entered semi-retirement. He continued to work as the public address announcer for Red Wings and college hockey games at Joe Louis Arena.
In 1985, Lynch received the Foster Hewitt Award, given to individuals who made outstanding contributions to their profession and the game during their career in hockey broadcasting. In ’94, he was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame.
Lynch has still very active in charitable work at the time of his induction. Since 1997, he has hosted the Budd Lynch Annual Golf Outing as a fundraiser for child abuse charities. Earlier, he received the Boys Club Award for helping youth in Minor sports in the inner city.