ESPN Bears beat reporter Jeff Dickerson dies

Covered Bears for ESPN, former ABC 7 sports reporter

Condolences are pouring in from all over as ESPN 1000 (WMVP-AM) Chicago Bears beat reporter Jeff Dickerson died Tuesday at the age of 44 from colon cancer.

Dickerson was born and raised in the Chicago area, graduating from Buffalo Grove High School and then attended the University of Illinois at Champaign. He joined ESPN 1000 in 2001 as a Bears beat reporter, a role he would be in for two decades. He started wiring for in 2009 and then to in 2013. Dickerson also reported part time at former sister station ABC 7 (WLS-TV) and also called Loyola’s men basketball games. He also hosted a national sports talk show with Jonathan Hood.

The news was announced on-air Tuesday by ESPN 1000’s Marc Silverman, who also has battled cancer. 

An outpouring of condolences and support flowed in the last day, from colleagues in local and national sports media and from the Bears organization and their head coach Matt Nagy. Former Bears kicker Robbie Gould spoke with Dickerson on Friday via phone. Dickerson was recently admitted to a hospice facility. 


News of his death made national headlines not only in national sports publications such as Awful Announcing, Sports Illustrated, The Athletic, and ESPN itself, but also mentioned in mainstream sites Deadline, People, and the New York Daily News and was mentioned on the NFL Network and The Ross Tucker Football Podcast.

The Chicago Bulls held a moment of silence in memory of Dickenson at Wednesday night’s game against the Atlanta Hawks at the United Center. And ESPN 1000 went local all-day Wednesday to pay tribute.

Nearly three years ago Dickerson lost his wife Catilin to melanoma, a form of cancer she battled for eight years before passing away at the age of 36. Dickerson was admitted to the same hospice facility his late wife went to. 

Dickerson is survived by his parents George and Sandy, and his eleven-year-old son Parker. A GoFundMe page has been established for Parker, and you can contribute by clicking here. Among those who have done so include Cubs owner Tom Ricketts and Philadelphia Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie and Fox NFL reporter Jay Glazer. As of this writing, a total of over $700,000 has been raised. 

The news came on a tough day for sports media as football legend John Madden also passed away Tuesday. You’ll see a write-up about him in the next post. 


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