Quick Facts Skip Bayless

  • NameSkip Bayless
  • Birth NameJohn Edward Bayless II
  • Birth PlaceOklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Professionsports columnist, author, television personality
  • Net Worth$4 Million
  • Salary$500000 annual
  • MarriedYes
  • Married toErnestine Sclafani
  • EducationNorthwest Classen
  • Children2
  • Nick Name“Skip”

Skip Bayless, an American sports columnist was born on December 4, 1951. He is not only the sports columnist but also an author and television personality. He is mostly known as a commentator in ESPN2 show “First Take”.


Bayless was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. His real name is John Edward Bayless II but he was never called by that name. He was always called “Skip”, which was named by his father. Later his name was changed legally into Skip. He has a younger brother Ricky Bayless and a sister. His parents owned the Hickory house restaurant in Oklahoma city. The restaurant was specialized in barbecue. He also worked in that restaurant while he was in his youth. Despite having the family restaurant, he never took it as a career path. So later his brother became a chef and carried on the family tradition and ran the restaurant.


Bayless was very interested in sports and used to play baseball and basketball during in his childhood. He graduated from Northwest Classen in 1970 and the salutatorian of there. He was also a two-year member of the National Honor Society and later became the president of the school’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter. Later he became an officer in letterman’s club. After the advice of his English teachers, he became the primary sports columnist for the school newspaper in his junior and senior years. He also represented Northwest Classen during his senior year at Oklahoma Boys State. During his graduation, he was awarded the Grantland Rice Scholarship to join Vanderbilt University. From Vanderbilt, he completed major in English and history. He also graduated cum laude from that university in 1974.

Bayless was hired by the Los Angeles Times in August 1976, after he wrote sports features for more than two years in The Miami Herald. In LA Times he was known for investigative stories on the LA Dodgers’ clubhouse antipathy of “golden boy” Steve Garvey and his wife Cyndy. For the coverage of Seattle Slew’s Triple Crown victory, he was awarded the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Newspaper Writing in 1977. After that, he was hired by The Dallas Morning News and three years later Dallas Times Herald hired him away. Dallas Morning News and Dallas Times Herald were the two biggest rivals in news industry at that time. In 1979, 1984 and 1986, Bayless was voted Texas sportswriter of the year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.



Bayless wrote God’s Coach: The Hymns, Hype, and Hypocrisy of Tom Landry’s Cowboys in 1989. It was his first book. The book was about the rise and fall of Tom Landry’s Dallas Cowboys. In 1993, he wrote “The Boys: The Untold Story of the Dallas Cowboys’ Season on the Edge. He wrote it after the Cowboys’ Super Bowl Victory. After the third victory of the Cowboys Super Bowl in Four Seasons, he wrote Hell-Bent: The Crazy Truth About the “Win or Else” Dallas Cowboys. It was his third book. Bayless started to host a radio talk show for Dallas radio station KLIF. Later he became one of the investors in the Fort Worth radio station KTCK in 1994. In that radio station, he hosted The Skip Bayless Show from 1994-1996.

In mid-90s, he became one of the frequent guests on ESPN Radio’s first national weekday show called “The Fabulous Sports Babe”. Bayless started co-hosting a weekend show on ESPN Radio with Larry Bell and later moved full-time into television.

Bayless joined ESPN as a writer for ESPN.com in 2004 and also became a commentator on Cold Pizza. The show moved to ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol from New York in May 2007 and was named “First Take”. The show First Take was evolved into a daily studio show where they debated about the day’s most interesting sports topic.


Bayless is married to Ernestine Sclafani. Ernestine has been a very secretive person because till now there are no pictures of her in any news or internet sites. At first, it was thought to be just a rumor that he was married but later Bayless himself revealed that he was married to her. Being one of the successful hosts, he has been able to keep his personal life very secret. Talking about his salary, he draws a $500000 annual salary and has a net worth of $4million.