Frank Deford

Yesterday marked the passing of a legend, Frank Deford. 
He was a brilliant writer and editor, a visionary, and a showman. 

 Mr. Deford in 2004. He wrote more than a dozen books and in 2013 he was the first sportswriter to receive a National Humanities Medal.CreditJeffery A. Salter/Sports Illustrated — Getty Images

Mr. Deford in 2004. He wrote more than a dozen books and in 2013 he was the first sportswriter to receive a National Humanities Medal.CreditJeffery A. Salter/Sports Illustrated — Getty Images

 

In 1989, I ended my first comic strip, Hartland and began doing editorial cartoons and story illustrations for the brand new sports daily-The National. Frank Deford was the editor.  
It was great exposure, wonderfully challenging work, insane deadlines...but they paid VERY well...which is why they only lasted two years. To this day, it was the most fun I've ever had doing what I do.

Toward the end of The National's run, Deford asked me to create an exclusive sports comic strip-which I did. Days after getting editorial approval for the strip (called Benchwarmers), The National went belly up.

I subsequently changed the name of the strip to Pete & Clete and sold it to Creators Syndicate in LA.

RIP Mr. Deford. Thank you for the wild ride.  

Read more about Frank Deford in the NY Times by clicking here.

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