Award winning sports writer and commentator Frank Deford has died. He was 78.
His family says he died the Sunday in Key West, Florida.
Deford was a six-time Sports Writer of the Year and an individual from the National Association of Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame. He composed with a melodious style and was best known for his work at Sports Illustrated and on National Public Radio. He resigned for the current month from NPR’s “Morning Edition” following 37 years as a supporter.
“Frank was dealing with an audience that doesn’t turn to the sports pages first thing,” said Tom Goldman, an NPR sports correspondent who recently spent time with Deford in Key West. “And he was proudest of the many comments he got over the years from people saying, ‘I don’t really like sports, but I like what you did, and you made me more interested in it.’”
He was the main games author granted the National Humanities Medal. In 2013, President Barack Obama regarded him for “transforming how we think about sports.”
“A dedicated writer and storyteller, Mr. Deford has offered a consistent, compelling voice in print and on radio, reaching beyond scores and statistics to reveal the humanity woven into the games we love,” Obama said at the time.