Frank Deford

by Chad Campbell, senior producer


After a lifetime of reading his articles in Sports Illustrated, seeing him on HBO’s Real Sports and hearing his commentaries on NPR’s Morning Edition, it was a thrill to actually meet Frank Deford. He was very genial, and much taller and thinner than I had imagined. The most impressive part though is that Frank Deford has been doing what he does for the past FIVE decades. That’s longer than I’ve been alive. Deford has dissected the sports world and interviewed some of the most famous and important athletes of his time. Deford holds a special place in his heart for the late tennis great Arthur Ashe. Unlike most of Deford’s interactions with athletes, he says he and Ashe actually became friends. Deford has covered just about every sport, in every medium, and he has written about it all in his new memoir titled  Over Time: My Life as a Sportswriter. The book is also a love letter to the men who came before him. Deford includes appreciative chapters on sportswriters such as Grantland Rice but also says that there are more good sportswriters churning out more good work now than ever before.