Chris Mortensen Cause of Death: A Tribute to a Legendary NFL Reporter

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Written By Drew Gomez

 

 

 

 

 

Chris Mortensen was an award-winning journalist who covered the NFL for close to four decades, including 32 years as a senior analyst at ESPN. He joined ESPN in 1991, and became one of the most influential and respected reporters in the sports industry, breaking numerous stories and scoops on the NFL.

He received several honors and awards for his work, such as the Dick McCann Award from the Professional Football Writers of America in 2016, the George Polk Award for sports reporting in 1987, and the National Headliner Award for investigative reporting in 1992.

Who was Chris Mortensen?

  • Chris Mortensen was an award-winning journalist who covered the NFL for close to four decades, including 32 years as a senior analyst at ESPN.
  • He was born on November 7, 1951, in Torrance, California, and graduated from North Torrance High School and El Camino College.
  • He began his career as a newspaper reporter, working for several publications such as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Los Angeles Times, and the Rocky Mountain News.
  • He joined ESPN in 1991, and became one of the most influential and respected reporters in the sports industry, breaking numerous stories and scoops on the NFL.
  • He received several honors and awards for his work, such as the Dick McCann Award from the Professional Football Writers of America in 2016, the George Polk Award for sports reporting in 1987, and the National Headliner Award for investigative reporting in 1992.
  • He also wrote two books: Playing for Keeps: How One Man Kept the Mob from Sinking Its Hooks into Pro Football (1991) and The Heisman: A Symbol of Excellence (2002).

How did he die?

  • Mortensen announced in 2016 that he had been diagnosed with Stage 4 throat cancer.
  • He underwent treatment and continued to work for ESPN, even breaking the news of Peyton Manning’s retirement that year.
  • He announced his retirement after the NFL draft in 2021, saying that he wanted to focus on his health, family, and faith.
  • He passed away on Sunday, March 3, 2024, at the age of 72.
  • The cause or place of death was not immediately revealed by his family or ESPN.

What was his impact and legacy?

  • Mortensen was widely admired and loved by his colleagues, peers, sources, and fans, who praised his professionalism, integrity, passion, and kindness.
  • He was known for his relentless pursuit of news, his deep knowledge of the game, and his mentorship of young journalists.
  • He had a close relationship with many NFL players, coaches, executives, and owners, who trusted him with their stories and confided in him.
  • He also had a strong bond with his family, especially his wife Micki and his son Alex, who followed his footsteps as a sports reporter.
  • He left behind a legacy that transcends the sports world, as he inspired generations of journalists and fans with his work ethic, courage, and grace.

Conclusion

  • Chris Mortensen was a legend in the field of sports journalism, who covered the NFL with skill and passion for nearly 40 years.
  • He faced his cancer diagnosis with bravery and optimism, and never gave up on his love for the game and his profession.
  • He touched the lives of many people with his generosity, humility, and friendship.
  • He will be dearly missed and remembered by the NFL community and beyond.

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