He was born in London, Ontario where he studied at the University of Western Ontario. There, he became a CFPL (AM) radio announcer of campus sports games. Following graduation in 1949, he presented sports news in the early years of CFPL-TV. During the next five years, he held a tutorial position, teaching English Literature, History and Geography, at Pickering College in Newmarket, Ontario while still finding the time to perform announcing duties for sports events on radio and play roles in drama performances on the CBC radio network. Then in 1954 he became general manager at CFPL radio, holding that post for 13 years.
- "150 people who define London (#26, Ward Cornell)". London Free Press. 2005-10-20. Retrieved 2007-01-03.[dead link]
- "Tokyo 1964: A tough job but…". CBC. 1964-10-19. Retrieved 2007-01-03.
- "SLAM! Sports: 2000 in review". CANOE. January 2001?. Retrieved 2007-01-03. Check date values in:
- "Abroad Thoughts from at Home (Ward Cornell speech)". Empire Club of Canada. 24 October 1974. Retrieved 2007-01-03.
- Rehak, Peter (10 February 2000). "From Hockey Night in Canada to deputy minister: Longtime conservative (Ward Cornell obit)". National Post. p. A20.