September 10, 2013
Award-winning Sport Writer, NPR Commentator and Humanitarian
Author and commentator, Frank Deford is the author of eighteen books of both fiction and non-fiction. His latest, a New York Times best seller, is his memoir, OVER TIME: MY Life As A Sportswriter.
Deford is amongst the most versatile of American journalists. On radio, he may be heard as a commentator every Wednesday on Morning Edition on National Public Radio and, on television, he is Senior Correspondent on the HBO show, Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel. In magazines, he is Senior Contributing Writer at Sports Illustrated –– in an association that dates back to 1962.
Moreover, two of Deford's books -- the novel, Everybody's All-American, and Alex: The Life Of A Child, his remembrance of his daughter who died of cystic fibrosis -- have been made into movies. Two of his original screenplays –– Trading Hearts and Four Minutes –– have also been filmed.
Deford has been elected to the Hall of Fame of the National Association of Sportscasters and Sportswriters. Six times at Sports Illustrated Deford was voted by his peers as U.S. Sportswriter of The Year. The American Journalism Review has likewise cited him as the nation's finest sportswriter, and twice he was voted Magazine Writer of The Year by the Washington Journalism Review.
Most recently, he was chosen as the first magazine recipient of the Associated Press Sports Editors' Red Smith Award for "major contributions to sports journalism."
Deford has, as well, been presented with the National Magazine Award for profiles, a Christopher Award, and earned journalism Honor Awards from the University of Missouri and Northeastern University. The University of Texas annually presents a lecture in his name. He has also been granted numerous honorary degrees. The Sporting News has described Deford as "the most influential sports voice among members of the print media," and the magazine GQ has called him, simply, "the world's greatest sportswriter." In broadcast, Deford has won both an Emmy and a George Foster Peabody Award. ESPN presented a television biography of Deford's life and work, You Write Better Than You Play. A popular lecturer, Deford has spoken at well over a hundred colleges, as well as at forums, conventions and on cruise ships around the world.
For sixteen years, Deford served as national chairman of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and he remains chairman emeritus. He resides in Westport, Connecticut with his wife, Carol. They have two grown children -- a son, Christian, and a daughter, Scarlet. A native of Baltimore, Deford is a graduate of Princeton University, where he has taught in American Studies.