Legendary ESPN NFL Reporter Chris Mortensen Passes Away at 72

2024-03-03 14:34:06

Longtime ESPN NFL reporter Chris Mortensen has passed away at the age of 72.

Like many of ESPN’s early stalwarts, Mortensen ascended in sports media through the newspapers. After a notable stint at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Sporting News, Mortensen solidified himself at ESPN by breaking key NFL stories and offering his insights on studio shows.

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning talks with ESPN sideline reporter Chris Mortensen during the 2005 American Bowl August 6 at the Tokyo...

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning talks with ESPN sideline reporter Chris Mortensen during the 2005 American Bowl on August 6 at the Tokyo Dome in Japan. The Atlanta Falcons defeated the Colts 27 – 21. (Photo by A. Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

Mortensen’s run of breaking stories and informative appearances on studio shows continued unabated until 2016 when he announced that he had throat cancer and would not be as visible on the network.

“Mort was widely respected as an industry pioneer and universally beloved as a supportive, hard-working teammate,” ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro said in a statement. “He covered the NFL with extraordinary skill and passion and was at the top of his field for decades. He will truly be missed by colleagues and fans, and our hearts and thoughts are with his loved ones.”

Mortensen pioneered the role of the cable sports breaking news reporter in many respects. As the demand for breaking news grew, so did Mortensen’s contacts list.

X users reacted to Mortensen’s passing on Sunday.

ESPN’s current lead NFL reporter, Adam Schefter, also took to X to share his thoughts on his former colleague.

“An absolutely devastating day. Mort was one of the greatest reporters in sports history, and an even better man. Sincerest condolences to his family, and all who knew and loved him. So many did. Mort was the very best. He will be forever missed and remembered.”

Mortensen is survived by his wife, Micki, and son, Alex.



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Legendary ESPN NFL Reporter Chris Mortensen Passes Away at 72

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