From 1990-1991, he was the editor-in-chief of The National, America's first all-sports daily newspaper.
Frank Deford, the renowned sportswriter and commentator, has died.
Deford was awarded the National Humanities Medal by President Obama in 2013.
Deford's wife confirmed he died Sunday in Key West, Florida.
Frank Deford, the award-winning sports writer and commentator whose elegant reportage was a staple for years at Sports Illustrated and National Public Radio, has died.
Sports jourmalist Frank DeFord attends a special screening of HBO Sports' "Nine Innings From Ground Zero" on August 11, 2004 at the American Museum of Natural History Samuel J. and Ethel LeFrak Theater, in New York City.
He served as a senior contributor for Sports Illustrated for 32 years.
The author of 18 books, nine of which were novels, Deford was also a Peabody, CableACE and Emmy Award victor; the latter for his work as a writer during the Seoul Olympics.
Deford was a prolific book author, including several novels, and contributed commentaries to HBO's "Real Sports" program and hosted documentaries on the cable network.
Deford in a 2008 interview with Deadspin discussed his decades in the journalism business: "For my taste, I liked it better the way that it was".
Well known for his decades-long career at Sports Illustrated, Deford wrote lengthy features on iconic sports figures like Bob Knight, the controversial IN basketball coach, and Billy Conn, the boxer known as "The Pittsburgh Kid". "The world of sports commentaries will never be the same".