Longtime ESPN commentator Chris Mortensen dies

Time Of Info By TOI Desk Report   March 4, 2024   Update on : March 4, 2024

Chris Mortensen
Chris Mortensen. Photo: Screengrab

Longtime ESPN commentator Chris Mortensen, an award-winning journalist, has died at age 72 on Sunday, his family announced, reports ESPN.

Mortensen, a George Polk Award-winning newspaperman, reported on the NFL for ESPN for more than 30 years.

The sports commentator, who came up with many a scoop at ESPN as the network’s longtime NFL reporter and analyst, joined ESPN in 1991.

He was a regular contributor to the network’s NFL shows and “SportsCenter and a regular news breaker for ESPN.

The news in 2016 quarterback Peyton Manning was retiring from the NFL.

In 2016, Mortensen got the Pro Football Writers of America’s Dick McCann Award.

He was honored during the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s enshrinement ceremony in August that year.

Jimmy Pitaro, chairman of ESPN, said in a statement that Mort was widely respected as an industry pioneer and universally beloved as a supportive and hard-working teammate. 

Mortensen, who covered the NFL with extraordinary skill and passion, was at the top of his field for decades.

His colleagues and fans will truly miss him.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter, a longtime colleague of Mortensen’s on ESPN’s “Sunday NFL Countdown,” said on social media that Mortensen was diagnosed with Stage 4 throat cancer in January 2016.

He stepped away from his role at ESPN last year “to focus on his health, family and faith,” Adam said.

Mortensen wrote for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (1983-1990) before coming to ESPN.

The journalist commentator received the George Polk Award in 1987 for his reporting.

Mortensen also was one of the first writers hired by editor Frank Deford at the sports daily The National.

He also was a columnist for The Sporting News and a consultant with CBS Sports’ “NFL Today”  in 1990.

Born on November 7, 1951, Mortensen, a native of Torrance, California, attended El Camino College before serving two years in the Army.

The journalist is survived by his wife, Micki, and son, Alex to mourn his death.


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