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Frank Deford, longtime sports commentator, dead at 78

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(Fox News) – Frank Deford, the legendary sports writer and commentator, died Sunday in Key West, Florida, his wife confirmed to The Washington Post. He was 78.

NEW YORK – AUGUST 11: 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. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)

Deford was a contributing writer at Sports Illustrated, where he got his start in 1962. He retired from NPR’s “Morning Edition” earlier this month after giving his 1,656th commentary.

He was also a correspondent for HBO’s “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.”

Former President Barack Obama awarded Deford the National Humanities medal in 2013. Obama said Deford transformed “how we think about sports.”

Sports columnist Bill Simmons paid tribute to Deford on Twitter with a link to his favorite story the sports writer wrote.

“I loved reading Frank Deford in SI and I loved The National. Sad to hear he passed away,” Simmons wrote on Twitter.

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