Frank Deford
N/A

Frank Deford

Commentator, Morning Edition

Writer and commentator Frank Deford is the author of sixteen books. His latest novel, Bliss, Remembered, is a love story set at the 1936 Berlin Olympics and in World War II. Publishers Weekly calls it a "thought-provoking...and poignant story, utterly charming and enjoyable." Booklist says Bliss, Remembered is "beautifully written...elegantly constructed...writing that is genuinely inspiring."

On radio, Deford may be heard as a commentator every Wednesday on NPR's Morning Edition and, on television, he is the senior correspondent on the HBO show RealSports With Bryant Gumbel. In magazines, he is Senior Contributing Writer at Sports Illustrated.

Moreover, two of Deford's books — 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. Two of his original screenplays, Trading Hearts and Four Minutes, have also been filmed.

As a journalist, Deford 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 also been presented with the National Magazine Award for profiles, 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. ESPN presented a television biography of Deford's life and work, "You Write Better Than You Play." A popular lecturer, Deford has spoken at more than 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. Deford is a graduate of Princeton University, where he has taught in American Studies.

[+] full biography[-] full biography

Purchase Featured Books

The Old Ball Game

Purchase Book

Purchase Featured Book

Title
The Old Ball Game
Author
Frank Deford

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

 

An American Summer

Purchase Book

Purchase Featured Book

Title
An American Summer
Author
Frank Deford

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

 

The Heart of a Champion: Celebrating the Spirit and Character of America's Sports Heroes

Purchase Book

Purchase Featured Book

Title
The Heart of a Champion: Celebrating the Spirit and Character of America's Sports Heroes
Author
Frank Deford

Your purchase helps support NPR Programming. How?

 

The executive committee of FIFA — the international organization that regulates soccer — was so suspected of taking bribes that FIFA ordered its own internal investigation. It's no surprise, says Frank Deford, that it found no wrongdoing. Kirill Kudryavstev/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Kirill Kudryavstev/AFP/Getty Images

Brandon Wells of the Mississippi State Bulldogs takes the field before a game against the Ole Miss Rebels last year. Stacy Revere/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Florida State fans cheer Rashad Greene after a 74-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game against Clemson in Tallahassee, Fla., on Sept. 20. In college sports, African-American student athletes and white student audiences are the norm. Commentator Frank Deford asks why this dynamic does not make us more squeamish. Mark Wallheiser/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Mark Wallheiser/AP

The Star-Spangled Banner, played before every baseball game, has become so tied to the sport that an old joke asks, "What are the last two words of the national anthem?" and answers, "Play ball!" Michael Dwyer/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Michael Dwyer/AP

Yasmani Grandal is swarmed by teammates after hitting a walk-off single to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday. But commentator Frank Deford wonders why "walk-off" has become such a ubiquitous term. Gregory Bull/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Gregory Bull/AP