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Alex Gilady, Israeli Olympic Committee member, dies at 79

Alex Gilady

BEIJING, CHINA - AUGUST 20: Alex Gilady addresses delegate during the 50th IAAF Congress at the China National Convention Centre, CNCC on August 20, 2015 in Beijing, China. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images for IAAF)

Alexander Hassenstein

JERUSALEM — Alex Gilady, an Israeli media pioneer and longtime International Olympic Committee member, has died. He was 79.

Gilady was a former sport executive at NBC and was the first Israeli journalist to report from Egypt in 1977 ahead of the signing of a landmark peace treaty with its Arab neighbor. He received the Israeli Broadcasting Association’s “Man of the Year” award that year.

He died at a hospital in London from cancer late on Thursday, according to Israeli business paper The Marker.

“Today, the Olympic movement lost a giant,” NBC Sports said. “Alex Gilady, our friend and colleague of more than 40 years, was a guiding light to our NBC Sports and Olympics teams through 15 Games. His contributions were immeasurable. We will miss his wisdom, warmth and always optimistic spirit.”

In 1993 he founded Keshet Media Group, which grew into one of the country’s major media production companies. Gilady was also elected as an IOC member in 1994. He served on the commissions organizing each of the games from Athens in 2004 until Paris 2024, according to the Olympic Committee.

“We are losing a pioneer of the modern Olympic Movement” IOC President Thomas Bach said of Gilady’s passing. “He has always stood up for the Olympic values, often when sometimes the situation was not easy for him.”

In 2017, Gilady was accused of sexual harassment and rape in prior decades. He denied the accusations, but resigned his role as president of Keshet. Gilady filed libel suits against his accusers that were later settled, and the IOC’s ethics commission closed an investigation.

Keshet Media Group, the company he founded, issued a statement mourning the death of its former CEO, “a visionary and one of the designers of Israeli television.”