Frank Deford - Biographical Brief
Frank Deford (born Benjamin Franklin Deford III on December 16, 1938 in Baltimore, Maryland) is an American sportswriter and novelist.
In addition to his 50-year tenure at Sports Illustrated, where he now holds the title of Senior Contributing Writer, Deford appears regularly on National Public Radio and Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel on HBO. He has written 16 books. Named Sportswriter of the Year six times, Deford was twice voted Magazine Writer of the Year by the Washington Journalism Review. In 2012 he became the first magazine-writer recipient of the Red Smith Award. He is a long-time advocate for research and treatment of cystic fibrosis.
Deford began his career as a researcher in the baseball department of Sports Illustrated in 1962. In addition to his Sports Illustrated duties, he has also been a correspondent for HBO`s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel since 1995; and a regular Wednesday commentator for National Public Radio since 1980.
His 1981 novel Everybody`s All-American was named one of Sports Illustrated`s Top 25 Sports Books of All Time. However, most of Deford`s fiction is set in the sports realm. The most recent of his ten novels is the acclaimed Bliss, Remembered, a 1930s romance between a pretty young American and the son of a German diplomat; the story is written from the point of view of the woman. He has also been a screenwriter on the films Trading Hearts (1987) and Four Minutes" (2005).
In 1989 Deford left Sports Illustrated and NPR to serve as editor-in-chief of The National, a short-lived U.S. sports newspaper. After then writing for Newsweek and Vanity Fair, Deford subsequently returned to Sports Illustrated as senior contributing writer.
He became involved in cystic fibrosis education and advocacy after his daughter, Alexandra ("Alex") was diagnosed with the illness in 1972. After Alex died on January 19, 1980, at the age of eight, Deford chronicled her life in the memoir Alex: The Life of a Child. The book was made into a movie starring Craig T. Nelson and Bonnie Bedelia in 1986. In 1997, the book was reissued in an expanded edition, with updated information on the Defords and Alex`s friends.
Deford grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, and attended the Calvert School and Gilman School in Baltimore. He is a graduate of Princeton University and now resides in Westport, Connecticut, with his wife, Carol, a former fashion model. They have two surviving children: Christian and Scarlet. Scarlet was adopted as an infant from the Philippines a few months after the loss of Alex. Deford has two grandchildren; Annabel and Hunter. Deford met his wife in Delaware and they were married in 1965.
Deford served as chairman of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for seventeen years.
Awards and accomplishments
Member of the National Association of Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame
Six-time U.S. Sportswriter of the Year winner
Twice voted Magazine Writer of the Year by the Washington Journalism Review
National Magazine Award recipient for 1999 Sports Illustrated article on Bill Russell
Peabody Award recipient for writer on 1999 HBO documentary "Dare to Compete"
Christopher Award winner
University of Missouri Honor Award for Distinguished Service to Journalism
Winner of a 1988 Emmy Award for his work as a writer during the Seoul Olympics
Winner of a CableACE in 1994 for writing the HBO Sports documentary Arthur Ashe: Citizen of the World
Dick Schaap Award for Outstanding Journalism recipient in 2003
Received ten honorary degrees, most recently in 2011 from Washington College, Chestertown, Maryland.
2012 Denver Press Club, Damon Runyon Award Recipient
Five Strides on the Banked Track: The Life and Times of the Roller Derby, Publisher: Little Brown & Company (1971), ISBN 978-0-316-17920-1
Cut `n` Run, Publisher Viking (1973)
There She Is: The Life and Times of Miss America, Publisher: Viking Press (1975) ISBN 0-670-69858-X
Big Bill Tilden: The Triumphs and The Tragedy, Simon & Schuster (1976)
Everybody`s All-American, Publisher: Viking (1981)
Alex: The Life of a Child,` Publisher: Viking (1983) ISBN 0-670-11195-3
The Spy in the Deuce Court, Publisher: Putnam (1986) ISBN 0-399-13134-5
The World`s Tallest Midget: The Best of Frank Deford, Publisher, Little Brown(1987) ISBN 0-316-17946-9
Casey On The Loose, Publisher: Viking Press (1988)
Love and Infamy, Publisher: Viking Press (1993)
The Best Of Frank Deford, Publisher, Triumph Books (2000) ISBN 1-57243-360-4
The Other Adonis: A Novel (2001) Sourcebooks Landmark, ISBN 1-4022-0011-0
An American Summer: A Novel (2002) Sourcebooks Landmark, ISBN 1-4022-0059-5
The Old Ball Game Publisher: A tlantic Monthly Press (2005) ISBN 0-87113-885-9
The Entitled, Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark (2007) ISBN 1-4022-0896-0
Bliss, Remembered Publisher: The Overlook Press (2010)
Over Time: My Life as a Sportswriter Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press (2012) ISBN 0802120156
Biographical material from Wikipedia