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Legendary sportswriter Frank Deford dies at age 78, ESPN reports

Frank Deford holds a proof of the final front page of the newspaper after a news conference at the paper's offices in New York City on Wednesday, June 12, 1991. (SUSAN RAGAN)

Frank Deford, a legend in the world of sports journalism, has died at age 78 in Key West, Florida, according to his wife, Carol Penner Deford.

According to ESPN, the Baltimore native spent 50 years writing for Sports Illustrated, but some might be more acquainted with his booming voice delivering his unique takes on sports on National Public Radio.

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Deford also wrote 18 books, nine of them novels such as "Everybody's All-American" in a wide-ranging career.

Deford had announced his retirement from NPR after 37 years earlier this month.

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