Jimmy Magee was born in New York in 1935 and grew up in Louth.
In the 1950s, Jimmy Magee began his career in broadcasting as a reporter for the RTÉ Radio programme "Junior Sports Magazine". Presented by Harry Thuillier, "Junior Sports Magazine" was broadcast on a Saturday and mainly covered rugby, hockey and athletics.
Magee doubled his early years in broadcasting with a full-time clerical post in British Rail. On leaving British Rail, he presented a number of sponsored radio programmes before concentrating on sport. He has commentated on a wide range of sports for RTÉ, including every Olympic Games since 1972. Magee covered his first World Cup for radio in 1966 and has covered every world cup up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
Jimmy co-hosted the quiz show 'Know Your Sport' on RTÉ Television alongside George Hamilton from 1987 to 1998. Throughout his career Magee also worked as a commentator for Channel 4 and UTV. Since the Mexico Olympics of 1968, Magee has commented on all subsequent Olympic games for RTÉ. Magee commented on Katie Taylor’s victory fight at the London 2012 Olympic games for RTÉ.