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?

 

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady walks to the sideline during this year's Super Bowl against the Seattle Seahawks. Christian Petersen/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Christian Petersen/Getty Images

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady gestures during an event at Salem State University in Salem, Mass. on May 7, 2015. An NFL investigation has found that New England Patriots employees likely deflated footballs and Brady was "at least generally aware" of the rules violations. Now, he faces a four-game suspension and the Patriots a $1 million fine. Charles Krupa/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Charles Krupa/AP

Decathlon gold medalist Bruce Jenner throws the javelin during an Olympic competition in Montreal on July 30, 1976. AP hide caption

itoggle caption AP

"Hot Rod" Hundley (right) does postgame commentary with Ron Boone after the Utah Jazz-Seattle SuperSonics game on May 5, 2000, in Salt Lake City. Douglas C. Pizac/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Douglas C. Pizac/AP

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland, center, during an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif. Borland announced that he will retire after just one season to protect himself from brain injuries. Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

Arizona State fans showcase their Curtain of Distraction during a game against UCLA on Feb. 18 in Tempe, Ariz. Rick Scuteri/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Rick Scuteri/AP

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, right, speaks with an official during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Duke in Durham, N.C., on Feb. 28 Gerry Broome/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Gerry Broome/AP

New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez watches from the dugout during an intrasquad game at a spring training baseball workout Monday in Tampa, Fla. Lynne Sladky/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Lynne Sladky/AP

Kurt Busch drives during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series auto race in Fort Worth, Texas, on Nov. 2, 2014. Busch was recently suspended indefinitely amid domestic violence accusations. Larry Papke/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Larry Papke/AP

Kentucky's Aaron Harrison and coach John Calipari watch from the sideline during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Mississippi on Jan. 6. Kentucky won 89-86 in overtime. James Crisp/AP hide caption

itoggle caption James Crisp/AP

UNC Tar Heels head basketball coach Dean Smith gives instructions during a 1997 playoff game against the Colorado Buffaloes. Smith died Saturday. He was 83. Doug Pensinger/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Tiger Woods on the ninth hole during the second round of the Phoenix Open last Friday, in Scottsdale, Ariz. Woods, who'll turn 40 this year, is making Frank Deford wonder: How does an athlete know when to retire? Rick Scuteri/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Rick Scuteri/AP

Sweetness And Light

Dear Aging Athletes: Say Hello To Goodbye

Commentator Frank Deford contemplates the difficulty of knowing when to quit.

Listen Loading… 3:31
  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    Embed <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/383526589/383724564" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">

Rafael Nadal (right) shakes hands with Tim Smyczek after winning a match at the Australian Open on Jan. 21. Rob Griffith/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Rob Griffith/AP

The Atlanta Hawks' Mike Scott scores over the Detroit Pistons' Greg Monroe in a game Monday. The Hawks are currently leading the NBA's Eastern Conference. Dave Tulis/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Dave Tulis/AP

Boston is in the running to host the 2024 Olympics. walknboston/Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption walknboston/Flickr