Chicago native and longtime ESPN Chicago Bears reporter Jeff Dickerson passed away on Tuesday of colon cancer complications at age 44.
Dickerson’s wife, Caitlin, died two years ago from melanoma, tragically at the very same hospice care facility where he passed away. Caitlin Dickerson had undergone treatment for melanoma and its complications for eight years before her passing and the couple is survived by their 11-year-old son, Parker.
Jeff Dickerson joined ESPN in May 2001 and is the Chicago Bears reporter for ESPN’s NFL Nation. Dickerson’s NFL coverage was seen, heard and read across nearly all of the company’s multimedia platforms, including ESPN.com, SportsCenter, NFL Live and Outside the Lines.
“JD was one of the most positive people you will ever meet,” ESPN deputy NFL editor Heather Burns said in a statement. “We all got together in October for an event, and there he was lifting our spirits and assuring us he was going to beat cancer. That’s just who he was. We are holding Jeff’s family, and especially his son, Parker, in our prayers.”
His passing was confirmed by a tweet posted by the Chicago Bears:
In 2014, Dickerson joined the ESPN Radio national network where he hosted Dickerson and Hood on Saturdays and Sundays when each football season ended. Dickerson was also a prominent weekday fill-in host, and made regular appearances on national shows throughout the ESPN Radio lineup.
Dickerson, who graduated from Buffalo Grove High School, is a graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. As a senior, Dickerson did radio broadcasts of East Central Illinois high school football and basketball games. A summer internship in 1999 at The Score started opening doors and he was offered a part-time producer’s job after graduating from Illinois.
He began his career at ESPN as a talk-show host/reporter/SportsCenter anchor at ESPN Radio 1000 in Chicago. He expanded to the digital side in the spring of 2009 with the launch of ESPNChicago.com. Dickerson spent six years as ESPNChicago.com’s Chicago Bears beat writer before transitioning to ESPN.com in April 2015.
In a 2014 interview with the Daily Herald, Dickerson expressed how happy he was to be working in Chicago, “I’m working in my hometown and my parents and family are close by. I’m so fortunate to be able to do what I want and to do it in a place where I want to live. How many people can say that?”
Colleagues, friends, and fans took to social media to share their condolences and a GoFundMe set up to help his newly orphaned 11 year old son called “Parker’s Fund” has already raised over $580,000.
Dickerson is survived by his son, Parker, as well as his parents, George and Sandy Dickerson.