Hall of Fame tennis journalist Bud Collins has died at the age of 86, the United States Tennis Association confirmed on Friday.
Collins, who was elected into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1994, was also elected to the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame in 2002.
The Boston Globe reported that Collins' health had been in decline for the past couple of years.
Known for his signature bowties, colorful pants and vibrant personality, Collins launched his career with the Boston Globe and also worked as a CBS Sports commentator from 1968-1972. He would ultimately spend many years working as a broadcast analyst for NBC and ESPN.
According to the Tennis Hall of Fame, Collins "covered more major championships than any American reporter, and has always conveyed his ample knowledge of the sport with an infectious enthusiasm."
Athletes and sports journalists took to social media to react to the news of Collins' death:
Integrity, passion, intelligence,wit,compassion.... Friend... I, like many, will miss you terribly...RIP Bud Collins— Chris Evert (@ChrissieEvert) March 4, 2016
RIP Bud Collins- Dear Bud- you proved you can be a great human, a great humanitarian & a world class reporter at the same time- much love...— Martina Navratilova (@Martina) March 4, 2016
RIP the great Bud Collins— Patrick McEnroe (@PatrickMcEnroe) March 4, 2016
A true American Tennis Icon
Am totally saddened: Bud Collins has died. All-time #1 tennis buff, yes, but so much more. Journalistic GIANT! Great, great guy. I owe him.— Bob Ryan (@GlobeBobRyan) March 4, 2016
I covered tennis when I was young & didn't know anyone. And no one was ever nicer or more helpful than Bud Collins. RIP to a true gentleman.— David Aldridge (@daldridgetnt) March 4, 2016
RIP Bud Collins, you were an inspiration to all of us who enjoy wearing a pair of loud pants every now and then pic.twitter.com/Qt0DhyFXBi— Kevin Kaduk (@KevinKaduk) March 4, 2016
Just learned Bud Collins has died, a generous giant, a friend to anyone who cared about tennis...the sport's dominant voice forever. RIP.— Dick Enberg (@Deohmy) March 4, 2016