Legendary sportswriter, commentator Frank Deford dies at 78

Legendary sportswriter, commentator Frank Deford dies at 78

Legendary sportswriter, commentator Frank Deford dies at 78

Frank Deford, who as a journalist for Sports Illustrated was known as a master of long-form storytelling and as a regular commentator for National Public Radio brought sports to life for many listeners with only a passing interest in athletics, has died at age 78, his wife said on Monday.

Deford began working for Sports Illustrated after graduating from Princeton in 1962, and went on to enjoy a tenure of over 50 years.

He also worked with NPR's Morning Edition for 32 years, retiring earlier this month, and was a contributor to HBO's Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel. He was a Peabody recipient for writer on the 1999 HBO documentary Dare To Compete and was honored by President Barack Obama with a 2012 National Humanities Medal.

Reporters banded together on Twitter to reflect on Deford's career and share their condolences. He delivered 1,656 commentaries for NPR.

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"And perhaps just as important, I've been blessed with you, with a broad and intelligent audience - even if large portions thereof haven't necessarily given a hoot about sports". "And now, Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, I bid you goodbye, and take my leave".

Deford called the award the one he is most proud of.

Deford was elected to the Hall of Fame of the National Association of Sportscasters and Sportswriters in 1998 and was been voted by his peers as the U.S. Sportswriter of the Year six times. "We all owe him a debt".

His wife, Carol Penner Deford, confirmed that her husband passed away on Sunday.

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