You won’t believe how old this longtime ESPN NFL journalist is!

Chris Mortensen, an award-winning journalist who reported on the NFL for ESPN for decades, died Sunday. He was 72 years old.

Mortensen's family. confirmed the news to ESPN. While the cause of death was not revealed, he was diagnosed with stage 4 throat cancer in January 2016.

“Mort was widely respected as an industry pioneer and universally loved as a hardworking and supportive teammate,” said Jimmy Pitaro, president of ESPN. said in a statement posted on X/Twitter. “He covered the NFL with extraordinary skill and passion, and was at the top of his field for decades. “He will be truly missed by colleagues and fans alike, and our hearts and thoughts go out to his loved ones.”

After joining the network in 1991, Mortensen reported on the NFL for ESPN for more than 30 years. He was a regular contributor to ESPN's NFL programs and “SportsCenter.” Mortensen regularly broke news for ESPN, such as Peyton Manning retiring from the NFL in 2016. That same year, he received the Dick McCann Award from the Pro Football Writers of America and was honored during the Football Hall of Fame's enshrinement ceremony. professional. In 2023, Mortensen stepped away from his position at ESPN to focus on his “health, family and faith.”

Before ESPN, Mortensen wrote for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution from 1983 to 1990, where he covered the Falcons, Braves and the NFL. He won the George Polk Award in 1987 for his reporting. Mortensen was also one of the first writers hired at The National, the sports newspaper where he worked from 1989 to 1990. In addition, he was a columnist for The Sporting News, a contributor to Sport magazine and a consultant for CBS Sports “NFL Today.” ”

Throughout his career he received 18 journalism awards and two Pulitzer Prize nominations. He began as a journalist at the South Bay Daily Breeze in 1969 and won the National Headliner Award for investigative reporting in all categories in 1978. A native of Torrance, California, Mortensen attended El Camino College before serving two years in the Army.

Mortensen is survived by his wife Micki and son Alex.

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