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Ernie Johnson Sr., Long-Time Atlanta Braves Announcer, Dies at 87

“Ernie was the heart and soul of the Braves for so long,” said Braves president John Schuerholz

Ernie Johnson Sr., a longtime voice for Atlanta baseball, died Friday night from complications with a long illness. He was 87.

Johnson was the TBS voice of the Atlanta Braves, earning recognition in the Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame.

"The Braves family has suffered a great loss today," Braves president John Schuerholz said in a statement. "Ernie was the heart and soul of the Braves for so long, first as a player and then as the voice of the team in the broadcast booth. Our hearts are heavy today and we will miss him dearly. We send our deepest condolences to his wife of 63 years, Lois, his children, Dawn, Chris and Ernie Jr., and to his grandchildren."

Johnson’s son Ernie Johnson Jr. currently heads TNT's popular NBA coverage, winning an Emmy for his accomplishments as an announcer.

Verne Lundquist will take over for the younger Johnson for the remainder of TNT’s coverage of the 2011 PGA Championship.

"The Turner Sports family is saddened by the loss of Ernie Johnson Sr. He was an iconic voice who helped create a national fan base for TBS' baseball coverage of the Atlanta Braves. Our deepest sympathies to his wife Lois, his children Ernie Jr, Chris and Dawn, and his grandchildren," said David Levy, president of sales, distribution and sports for Turner Broadcasting System, Inc.