Award-winning sports writer and commentator Frank Deford has died. He was 78. Deford passed away Sunday, May 28, 2017, in Key West, Florida, his family confirmed.
Sports columnist Bill Simmons paid tribute to Deford on Twitter with a link to his favorite story the sports writer wrote.
Deford was also well known for a decades-long career at Sports Illustrated, where he started working in 1962.
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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. Until his recent retirement after 37 years, Deford had been a weekly fixture on NPR's Morning Edition, offering his unique take on the sports world.
In 2013, he was presented with the William Allen White Citation for "excellence in journalism" by the University of Kansas and became the first sports journalist ever to receive the National Press Foundation's highest honor, the W.M. Kiplinger Award for Distinguished Contributions to Journalism.
"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".
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He told his charges to "outwork" the Cavs in the second half and their hosts would find a way to let them back in the game. The Celtics moved the ball the way they had against Chicago and Washington in the first two rounds and found the open man.
"R.I.P. Frank Deford, a very nice man every time I met him", wrote Will Leitch, the Sports on Earth editor and Deadspin founder. It was called "The American Singapore".
Deford is survived by his wife, the former model Carol Penner; two children; and two grandchildren.
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