Beloved ESPN host John Saunders has passed away unexpectedly at 61 ... this according to ESPN.
The details surrounding Saunders' death are unclear -- but officials tell us he died in New York and there is NO suspicion of foul play.
Saunders joined ESPN in 1986 and went on to co-host "NFL Primetime." He also anchored "SportsCenter."
ESPN tweeted, "We are heartbroken to report longtime ESPN personality John Saunders has died. He was 61."
Adam Schefter tweeted, "Sickened and saddened to hear of loss of our colleague and friend, John Saunders. What a nice man. What a great man."
Saunders is survived by wife, Wanda, and daughters, Aleah and Jenna.
Story developing ...