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Chris Mortensen cause of death: How did the ESPN journalist die ?

Chris Mortensen cause of death: How did the ESPN journalist die?

Chris Mortensen, an award-winning journalist and longtime NFL insider for ESPN, has died at the age of 72.

Mortensen’s impact on football journalism and broadcasting has been profound, earning him respect and admiration from colleagues, fans, and players alike.

Keep reading this article to learn more about Chris Mortensen, what happened to him, Chris Mortensen’s death cause, and more!

Chris Mortensen
Kevin C. Cox/AAF/Getty Images

Who was Chris Mortensen?

Chris Mortensen is an American journalist born in Torrance, California in November 1951.

He is best known for providing reports for ESPN on their TV series Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday Night Countdown, SportsCenter, and on and ESPN Radio.

Mortensen served in the Army during the Vietnam War and started his career with the Daily Breeze newspaper in his hometown.

He worked at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution from 1983 to 1990 and also worked at The National from 1989 to 1990. Mortensen first appeared on ESPN in 1991.

He has authored the Playing for Keeps: How One Man Kept the Mob from Sinking Its Hooks into Pro Football. Mortensen made a film on The Unreal Story of Professional Wrestling in 1999.

Chris Mortensen has won many journalism awards including the National Headliner Award for Investigative Reporting in 1978. In 2015 he erroneously reported on the Deflategate controversy.

Chris Mortensen cause of death: How did Chris Mortensen die?

Mortensen survived died on March 3, 2024, ESPN announced. He was 72 and no cause was given, but he had been battling cancer during his life.

“Mort was widely respected as an industry pioneer and universally beloved as a supportive, hard-working teammate. 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,” ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro said in a statement.

Following the news of Mortensen’s death, several stars shared tributes to him via social media, including Peyton Manning, who took to Instagram to share that he was “heartbroken” by Mortensen’s death. (When Manning, 47, retired from the NFL in 2016, Mortensen broke the news.)

We lost a true legend,” Manning wrote on Sunday alongside snaps of the two. “Mort was the best in the business and I cherished our friendship. I trusted him with my announcement to sign with the Broncos and with the news of my retirement. I will miss him dearly and my thoughts and prayers are with [his wife] Micki & his family. Rest in peace, Mort.”

Chris Mortensen Illness

On January 15, 2016, Mortensen announced via an ESPN statement that he had been diagnosed with stage IV throat cancer and would consequently be taking a leave of absence from his on-air work at the cable network.

“Excited about another season but it’s time to reveal after my 33rd NFL draft in April, I made a decision to step away from ESPN and focus on my health, family and faith,” he wrote via X at the time. “The gratitude and humility is overwhelming. It’s not a classic retirement. I’ll still be here talking ball. It’s just time. God Bless you all.”

Mortensen survived eight years past the diagnosis, and died on March 3, 2024, at the age of 72.

Mortensen is survived by his wife, Micki Mortensen, and a son, Alex Mortensen, who is a football coach and former professional quarterback.

Simon Kabutey
Simon Kabutey
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