Frank Deford’s proverbial voice will echo throughout Brevard College’s Porter Center for Performing Arts when the writer and NPR commentator takes the stage live Thursday, Sept. 24, at 6:30 p.m. Deford is the 2015 J.R. McDowell Speaker, and his visit is sponsored by the Transylvania County Library in partnership with Brevard College. Tickets for “Sports: The Hype and the Hypocrisy” are $10 and go on sale Tuesday, Sept. 1, at the Transylvania County Library.
The program will focus on the business of sports from multiple angles. By using personal anecdotes gathered from a lifetime of writing and reporting about sports and sports personalities, Deford will offer his own unique, behind-the-scenes perspective on the sports industry.
Frank Deford is the author of 18 books of fiction and non-fiction. His latest, “Over Time: My Life as a Sportswriter” is a New York Times best seller. Among the most versatile of American journalists, Deford may be heard on radio as a commentator every Wednesday morning on NPR’s “Morning Edition.” On television, he is Senior Correspondent on the HBO show, “Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel.” He remains a Senior Contributing Writer at Sports Illustrated, an association that dates back to 1962.
Deford is the recipient of many awards and honors, including the PEN Lifetime Achievement Award for literary sportswriting, the W. M. Kiplinger Award for Distinguished contributions to Journalism by the National Press Foundation, an Emmy for his work on the 1988 Seoul Olympics, and a George Foster Peabody Award. 1n 2013, he was honored by President Barack Obama with a National Endowment for the Humanities medal.
Deford, a native of Baltimore, Maryland, graduated from Princeton University, where he has taught in American Studies. For 17 years, Deford served as national chairman of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and he remains chairman emeritus. He became involved in cystic fibrosis education and advocacy after his daughter, Alexandra, was diagnosed with the illness in 1972. After Alex died in 1980, Deford chronicled her life in the memoir, “Alex: The Life of a Child.”
This program is part of a series of events supporting the upcoming Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition, “Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America” from Sept. 11-Oct. 24, 2015, at the Transylvania County Library. Hometown Teams is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution and the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Support for Museum on Main Street is provided by the United States Congress.
This annual speaker series, named for Transylvania County Library Foundation Board member emeritus J. R. McDowell, is designed to present a wide array of viewpoints on challenging and thought-provoking topics. The Library Foundation also enhances the Library and the community through five additional areas of support, including funds for the Rowell Bosse North Carolina Room collection; underwriting special events for children; exploring new technologies in library services; providing continuing education and career enhancement for library staff with the Elizabeth R. Kapp Tyson Professional Development Fund; and memorial gifts and collections.