Don Richard Ashburn was born on March 19, 1927 in Tilden, Nebraska, United States. From his youth on a farm, he grew up to become a professional baseball outfielder and veteran broadcaster for the Philadelphia Phillies, and one of the most beloved sports figures in Philadelphia history.
Ashburn spent 12 of his 15 major league seasons as the Phillies' center fielder (from 1948 through 1959), during which he led the National League twice in batting average and routinely led the league in fielding. Upon his retirement from playing in 1962, he became a radio/TV announcer for the Phillies, where he was paired for 27 seasons with legendary broadcaster Harry Kalas. Ashburn also regularly wrote for the Philadelphia Bulletin and, later, the Philadelphia Daily News.
In 1995 Ashburn was elected to the United States Baseball Hall of Fame by the Hall's Veteran's Committee, and was inducted with Phillies great Mike Schmidt. Over 25,000 fans, mostly from Philadelphia, traveled to Cooperstown for the ceremony.
On September 9, 1997, in New York City, Richie Ashburn died unexpectedly of a heart attack. A large crowd of fans paid tribute to him, passing by his coffin in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park. He is interred in the Gladwyne Methodist Church Cemetery, Gladwyne, Pennsylvania.