Veteran Sportswriter, Author, and NPR Commentator
Among the most versatile of writers, Frank Deford’s work has appeared in virtually every medium. In magazines, he is the Senior Contributing Writer at Sports Illustrated. On radio, he may be heard as a commentator every Wednesday on Morning Edition on National Public Radio and, on television, he is a regular correspondent on the HBO show, RealSports With Bryant Gumbel.
Moreover, Deford is the author of fourteen books, two of which—the novel, Everybody’s All-American, and Alex: The Life Of A Child, his memoir about his daughter who died of cystic fibrosis—have been made into movies. His most recent book, The Old Ball Game, about Christy Mathewson and John McGraw and baseball at the turn of the century, was published in 2005 by Grove/Atlantic. Deford’s latest original screenplay, Four Minutes, about Roger Bannister and the four-minute mile, appeared last fall on ESPN.
As a journalist, Deford was most recently presented with the National Magazine Award for profiles for his story on Bill Russell. He has been elected to the Hall of Fame of the National Association of Sportscasters and Sportswriters. Six times 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.
Deford has been presented with a Christopher Award and journalism Honor Awards from the University of Missouri and Northeastern University, and he has received many 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. A television biography of Deford’s life and work, You Write Better Than You Play, premiered on ESPN August 2005.
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 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.