Legendary Reporter Dead at 72

He's DEAD - Legendary Reporter Has Passed Away

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Esteemed ESPN NFL journalist Chris Mortensen has died at 72 years old. His passing occurred on March 3, merely six months following his retirement from the network. Mortensen served as a reporter for ESPN for a remarkable 32 years, taking a temporary hiatus in 2016 while confronting stage 4 throat cancer.

Later in the same year, Mortensen rejoined the network and revealed that there was minimal trace of the cancer. He conveyed enthusiasm for another season and suggested he would continue to follow the sport closely after declaring his retirement on September 5, 2023. Mortensen emphasized that he chose to step back from ESPN to prioritize his family, well-being, and faith.

Affectionately known as “Mort,” the journalist garnered 18 journalism accolades and earned two Pulitzer Prize nominations for his NFL coverage. Identified as a devoted Christian, Mortensen’s biography highlighted his commitment to following the teachings of Jesus, referencing Matthew 22:36-40. In 2021, he remarked on the fallibility of humanity due to its earthly nature, placing his faith and trust solely in the Lord. Mortensen attributed his faith as a source of strength during his battle with cancer, crediting it for guiding him through diagnosis and treatment.

ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro issued a statement acknowledging Mortensen as a trailblazer in the field, praising his remarkable talent and passion that positioned him as a leader for many years. Adam Schefter, the current primary NFL reporter for the network, expressed on X that Mortensen’s passing was a heartbreaking moment, emphasizing his enduring impact and the void left by his absence.

Mortensen is survived by his wife, Micki, and their son Alex. Admired by both colleagues and NFL enthusiasts, the journalist played a pivotal role in announcing Peyton Manning’s retirement. Manning, echoing sentiments from Schefter, hailed Mortensen as the preeminent figure in the industry. 

The former Broncos quarterback expressed his deep trust in Mortensen, entrusting him with pivotal announcements regarding his career moves and treasuring their friendship. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell praised Mortensen’s dedication and described him as one of the most respected figures in sports journalism.

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