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Legendary broadcaster coming to library

Ray Christensen doesn't do a lot to promote his books anymore. The longtime voice of University of Minnesota Gophers football and basketball wrote them years ago and doesn't give either much thought.

But Christensen does like to talk with people, so when he was invited to speak at the Robert Trail Library, the legendary radio broadcaster jumped at the chance. He has authored two books. In 1993 he co-wrote Golden Memories with Stew Thornley, and in 2001 he wrote Ray Christensen's Gopher Tales.

Christensen, a Rosemount resident for the last six years, will speak at the library from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. March 2. During the event Christensen will talk about his books and long career.

Over his 50-year career Christensen called the play-by-play for 510 Gopher football games and 1,309 basketball games. He has broadcast a number of other Minnesota sports teams including the Twins, the Vikings and others.

After serving in the Army, Christensen started his broadcasting career as a student at the University of Minnesota. He worked at KUOM, the university's campus radio station.

He followed his college stint with a job at WLOL. In 1963 he started at WCCO, where he remained until he retired in 2001. His voice can still be heard on a number of WCCO commercials.

While Christensen said he will touch on his books, he added he won't spend a lot of time talking about them. Instead he will focus on answering questions from the audience.

"For me the questions are the most important thing," Christensen said.

Additionally Christen will bring along a few interesting mementos to show people.

"I like to bring along a few things that people find interesting," said Christensen.

The event will be sponsored by the Rosemount Area Arts Council. The council has made it a point to host several local author events at the library. In November, Rosemount resident Craig McIntosh spoke about his book, The Fortunate Orphans. The event drew a large crowd.

RAAC member John Loch said the council hopes the Ray Christensen event will get good attendance as well.

"We think he will be popular because so many are familiar with him," said Loch.

Loch said the RAAC plans on hosting one more author event this spring. He said they will probably take a break over the summer but hope to resume again in the fall.

He said anyone who knows an area author that might be interesting can contact RAAC.

Check out the group's web site at and clink on the link labeled Rosemount Area Arts Council.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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