Award-winning sports writer Frank Deford dies at 78

FILE - In this July 10, 2013, file photo, President Barack Obama laughs with Frank Deford as he awards him the 2012 National Humanities Medal during a ceremony in the East Room of White House in Washington. Award-winning sports writer and commentator Frank Deford has died. He was 78. Deford passed away Sunday, May 28, 2017, in Key West, Florida, his family confirmed. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

Award-winning sports writer and commentator Frank Deford has died. He was 78.

His family says he died Sunday in Key West, Florida.

Deford was a six-time Sports Writer of the Year and a member of the National Association of Sportscasters and Sportswriters Hall of Fame. He wrote with a lyrical elegance and was best known for his work at Sports Illustrated and on National Public Radio. He retired this month from NPR’s “Morning Edition” after 37 years as a contributor.

He was the first sports writer awarded the National Humanities Medal. In 2013, President Barack Obama honored him for “transforming how we think about sports.” Deford called the award the one he is most proud of.

Deford was a prolific book author and contributed commentaries to HBO’s “Real Sports” program.

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