Jeff Dickerson, an NFL reporter for ESPN who covered the Chicago Bears for two decades, died Tuesday of complications from colon cancer, at the same hospice facility that his wife, Caitlin, died in two years ago, the network reported. He was 44.
“JD was one of the most positive people you will ever meet,” ESPN deputy editor for digital NFL coverage Heather Burns said in a statement. “We all got together in October for an event, and there he was lifting our spirits and assuring us he was going to beat cancer. That’s just who he was. We are holding Jeff’s family, and especially his son, Parker, in our prayers.”
The network noted that in his coverage of the Bears, Dickerson “reported the facts but was not afraid to tell his listeners and readers what he thought about” the team, and “confronted team management when necessary, but never made a show of it.” Just a little over two months ago, on October 14, Dickerson served as the emcee for the Vaughn McClure Foundation, a non-profit he helped establish to honor the memory of McClure, a former Bears beat writer and Atlanta Falcons reporter for ESPN who died in 2020.
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The Bears posted a remembrance of Dickerson on Twitter, saying they are “absolutely heartbroken” by his passing, calling him “the consummate professional.”
Dickerson joined ESPN in May 2001, first as a talk-show host/reporter/SportsCenter anchor at ESPN Radio 1000 in Chicago. He expanded to the digital side in 2009 with the launch of ESPNChicago.com. He spent six years as ESPNChicago.com’s Chicago Bears beat writer before transitioning to ESPN.com in April 2015.
Dickerson also hosted Dickerson and Hood on the ESPN Radio national network, and was a weekday fill-in host for ESPN Radio, making regular appearances on national shows. He also covered the Bears for ABC-7 Television in Chicago.
Dickerson is survived by his son, Parker, and his parents, George and Sandy Dickerson.
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