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Frank Deford’s life in the game

Michael Juliano/KPCC

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Sportswriters spend the majority of their career covering the play-by-play action on the field. Occasionally, a unique angle to the story lets them make a poignant connection between sports and society as a whole. Very few writers, however, can accomplish both of these things and call it a memoir.

In Over Time: My Life as a Sportswriter, legendary writer Frank Deford recounts his career as one of the best and most well-know authors in the field. Deford’s writing career began with a little publication known as Sports Illustrated where “The Kid,” as he was known, discovered talents like hockey pro Bobby Orr and fellow Princeton alum and basketball Hall-of-Famer Bill Bradley.

He was a good friend of tennis great Arthur Ashe; the two even roomed together on Ashe’s barrier-breaking trip to apartheid South Africa. In addition to being named U.S. Sportswriter of the Year six times, Deford is the author of numerous books. And you’re probably familiar with his weekly NPR commentaries on everything from football head injuries to the dearth of women in individual sports.

Frank Defords catalog of work is as varied as the sports he covered and the athletes involved. Who else can say they interviewed Wilt Chamberlain, Muhammad Ali and Col. Sanders of KFC?


Frank Deford, Author of Over Time: My Life as a Sportswriter (Grove/Atlantic); Senior Contributing Writer at Sports Illustrated; NPR Commentator. His previous books include Everybody’s All-American and Alex: The Life of a Child.