Journalism is one of the noblest and interesting professions available on the planet, and despite the inherent exciting nature of sports, it has been further buoyed by the work of sports journalists across America and the globe. One sports journalist who has earned a decent reputation for his extensive work over the years is ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.
Mortensen has made several accomplishments in his career, before and after he joined ESPN, one of the leading sports broadcasting networks in the country. He is known for his work on programs like Sunday NFL Countdown and SportsCenter. Read on to find out all you need to know about him.
Chris Mortensen Biography
Chris Mortensen, the legendary sports journalist whose work has defined a generation, was born on the 7th of November, 1951 in Torrance, California. His parents’ names are unknown but they raised him and encouraged his interest in sports, which began all the way from high school at North Torrance High School where he participated in different kinds of sports, from baseball to football and basketball.
For Mortensen, the dream was to have a professional sports career of his own, but at the completion of his high school education, he realized his inability to live that dream and decided to compromise. His initial compromise was to become a teacher and a coach but he later opted to become a sports journalist.
That decision has turned out to be a great one as he went on to start his journalism career with a local newspaper, Daily Breeze in Torrance, California. He later moved on to work for other media outlets like Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The National, and then ESPN.
Over the course of his career, Chris Mortensen has been the recipient of several awards, with his latest total as at 2018 being 18 awards, including the National Headliner Award for Investigative Reporting and the George Polk Award.
In his personal life, Mortensen has been married to wife, Micki Mortensen since 1984 and have remained married ever since, giving birth and raising an only child, a son named Alex Mortensen who was born in 1985.
Five Interesting Facts About Him
1. His Son Played Professional Football
It was Chris Mortensen’s dream to become a professional football player but that dream would only be lived by his own, Alex Mortenson, who played for the Tennessee Titans as a free agent player in 2009. Although it was a brief period as a professional player as he only played a solitary game against the Buffalo Bills, it was a dream come true for the Mortensen family.
Chris Mortensen’s son, Alex, currently works as a coach for the Birmingham Iron.
2. He Has Been Battling Cancer Since 2016
In January 2016, Chris Mortensen announced to fans and viewers of his ESPN program that he has been diagnosed with stage 4 throat cancer. Since the announcement, he has undergone several treatments, including chemotherapy.
While his first battle with throat cancer was defeated in August 2016, Mortensen has had to fight another battle with lung cancer which was diagnosed in November 2016. The ESPN journalist continues to undergo multiple treatments with the support of his fans and his family.
3. He Served in the Army
During the Vietnam War, just after he completed his college education at El Camino College, Chris Mortensen served in the US Army. He was a soldier for two years before he returned home to begin a career as a journalist.
4. He is a Published Author
As expected for a journalist of his caliber, Chris Mortensen, who is known for his insightful and investigative columns and articles, has written and published a book, Playing for Keeps: How One Man Kept the Mob from Sinking Its Hooks into Pro Football. The book was published in 1991.
Other than his published book, Mortensen has also been a part of another form of media, film. He produced the film, The Unreal Story of Professional Wrestling in 1999.
5. Chris was a Part of the Deflategate Controversy
A report by Chris Mortensen in January 2015 claiming 11 out of 12 balls used in a game between the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts were under NFL regulation. The report caused a controversy that resulted in counter-reports and accusation of Chris spreading misinformation.