Longtime ESPN reporter Jeff Dickerson died due to complications from colon cancer. He was 44 years old. Dickerson was known for his work as a reporter for the Chicago Bears and as well as appearing on ESPN Radio. This comes two years after Dickerson's wife Caitlin Dickerson died due to complications from melanoma.
Jeff Dickerson leaves behind his 11-year-old son Parker. A GoFundMe page was set up to support Parker; it has raised over $1.1 million. "Many people have reached out wanting to know how they can support Parker," Dickerson's sister-in-law Jen Etling Hobin wrote on the GoFundMe page. "We set up this fund to do exactly that. Please know that every dollar raised will directly support Parker's education, health and welfare … and yes, his athletics. Parker will continue to be surrounded by many fans – doting grandparents Sandy & George, Grandma Patty, aunts, uncles and cousins."
"JD was one of the most positive people you will ever meet," ESPN deputy editor for digital NFL coverage 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."
Dickerson began covering the Bears in 2001 as he was working for ESPN 1000 radio. He then added digital coverage to his duties in 2009 at ESPNChicago.com and then move to ESPN.com in 2013. Dickerson also hosted a show for ESPN radio called Dickerson and Hood, he served as a television analyst for Loyola men's basketball and worked for ABC Channel 7 in Chicago as a sports reporter. Dickerson also helped a few of his colleagues get comfortable in radio, including Courtney Cronin who covers the Minnesota Vikings for ESPN.
"Jeff Dickerson owed me nothing, nor did he have to help me get an opportunity that changed the trajectory of my career," Cronin said. "He taught me what it means to be a great teammate, and he put me on a path that wouldn't have been possible without his guidance. I'm eternally grateful for the time I was gifted with JD in my life and will carry my teammate, my co-host and my dear friend in my heart with me for the rest of my days."
Dickerson had great relationships with his colleagues. Rob Demovsky, who covers the Green Bay Packers for ESPN, talked about how Dickerson would spend the night at his how whenever the Bears play the Packers in Green Bay. "That's how good of a friend JD was," Demovsky said. "He was the only sports reporter willing to give up those treasured Marriott points to stay with a friend. There's not a game we looked forward to more than when the Bears came to Green Bay, because it meant JD was staying with us for the weekend."