But McKay is also remembered for his Emmy Award-winning coverage of the kidnapping and killing of Israeli athletes during the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.
About 200 people filled the pews of the cavernous Cathedral of Mary Our Queen for the funeral of McKay. Relatives, friends and colleagues remembered McKay, born James Kenneth McManus, as a man who, despite his globe-trotting TV persona, longed for the simple pleasures of home and the company of his wife, Margaret, his son and daughter and his three grandchildren.
"He taught me how to drive a car and how to drive a golf ball," James Guba, McKay's oldest grandson, said through tears. "He was my best friend."
Among those in attendance were NBC Olympics host Bob Costas, "CBS Evening News" anchor Katie Couric and NBC Sports chairman Dick Ebersol.
"He's one of the greatest broadcasters in the history of the medium," Costas said. "Jim essentially created the role of the modern Olympic host. He set the standard."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.