Anthony F. Verna (November 26, 1933 – January 18, 2015) was a producer of television sports and entertainment blockbusters.
Verna was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He died in Palm Desert, California of acute lymphoblastic leukemia at the age of 81.
Verna is credited with having invented instant replay, first used by CBS Sports during the Army-Navy game on December 7, 1963.
Verna’s broadcast hallmark was an ability to continually come up with advances in the use of cameras, program content and creative interplay.
It was this skill that prompted him to use a trick left over from radio days in order to outwit the technology of the times and allow for a play on the field to be re-broadcast “instantly.”
Verna’s varied career includes creating, producing and directing Pope John Paul II’s billion-viewer television special “A Prayer for World Peace” and the historic music spectacular “Live Aid.”
As President of Caesar’s Palace Productions, Verna was involved in all their spectacular entertainment projects.
Verna worked with and or and was friends with such notables as Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, Grace Kelly, Mother Teresa, Edward R. Murrow, Larry King, Rod Stewart, Burt Reynolds, Dizzy Dean, Milton Berle, Duke Ellington, Ray Charles, Mick Jagger, Christopher Reeve, Tom Selleck, Mickey Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Rocky Marciano, Kirk Douglas, Chevy Chase, Johnny Cash, John Denver, and many other luminaries.