ESPN NFL reporter Jeff Dickerson dies aged 44, leaving his 11-year-old son orphaned.
NFL reporter Jeff Dickerson, who covered the Chicago Bears for ESPN, dies aged 44, two years after losing his wife Caitlin, tragically leaving their 11-year-old son orphaned.
Jeff Dickerson, a fixture at ESPN and in the Chicago sports market for two decades, died on Tuesday, December 28, at the same hospice care facility Caitlin died in, after complications from colon cancer. Caitlin Dickerson had undergone treatment for melanoma and its complications for eight years before passing away in 2019.
“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.”
“Jeff Dickerson is survived by their son, Parker, and his parents, George and Sandy Dickerson,” the statement said.
Tributes flooded social media for Dickerson: “So sad about Jeff Dickerson, universally respected, admired and liked,” tweeted Dan Pompei from The Athletic. “He leaves us all better for having known him. May the road rise up to meet you friend.”
“Jeff Dickerson transcended superlatives. He truly was the nicest person I knew. No one was more positive and upbeat, despite every reason not to be.
“He was a great friend, a loving husband, and the most devoted father to Parker. The world lost a wonderful man. I will miss him,” said Kevin Fishbain, Chicago Bears beat writer for The Athletic.
Jeff Dickerson transcended superlatives. He truly was the nicest person I knew. No one was more positive and upbeat, despite every reason not to be.
He was a great friend, a loving husband, and the most devoted father to Parker. The world lost a wonderful man. I will miss him. pic.twitter.com/qR8RwVI3Up
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) December 29, 2021
“Everyone who knew Jeff Dickerson was better off for it,” said Jon Greenberg of The Athletic. “I just can’t believe this is real.”
“When I would be sent to grab Bears sound at Halas Jeff Dickerson was always the most helpful, cheery, positive, make you feel comfortable, pleasant, happy to see you dude going,” tweeted Mark Carman, a host of the Bears postgame show on WGN.
In 2019, Dickerson said that he considered Caitlin to be an “inspiration” because “she refused to let cancer dictate her life” and he channelled that determination upon receiving his own cancer diagnosis in early 2021.
A statement from the Bears said: “We are absolutely heartbroken to learn of the passing of our friend and colleague Jeff Dickerson.
“Always the consummate professional, JD took a great deal of pride in his coverage of the Bears for 20 years. He was a true professional and even better person. JD always was one of the first media members to arrive in the press box on game day, with a hello and a smile that could brighten anyone’s day. He was one of a kind, and will truly be missed.”
Statement from the Chicago Bears on the passing of Jeff Dickerson: pic.twitter.com/tAr8nrXElQ
— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) December 29, 2021
Sadly, this is the second NFL-related death reported on December 29, after earlier it was announced that NFL and EA Sports legend John Madden had passed away aged 85.
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