By Peter Gleason

Frank Deford, one of the greatest sports journalists ever, has died at the age of 78.

The Washington Post reports that Deford died yesterday in Key West, Florida. His wife confirmed the news to the paper.

Deford (above receiving an award from President Obama) spent half a century crafting words for magazines, radio and television.

During his decades at Sports Illustrated, he published some of the most iconic sports profiles in magazine history.

Starting in 1980, he delivered memorable sports monologues on NPR’s “Morning Edition.”

And for two decades, he served as a senior correspondent for HBO’s “Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel.”