Deford has authored fifteen books, including The Entitled, a novel about an old baseball manager, a young superstar, and the glamorous realm of modern sport, and An American Summer, a novel that explores the friendship between a young boy and a young woman with polio in the summer of ’54. Deford is widely regarded as the consummate sportswriter of his era, most notably for his award-winning work in Sports Illustrated. His daughter’s struggle with cystic fibrosis, which is poignantly documented in his book, Alex: The Life of a Child, led him to serve as national chairman of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation for fifteen years. He is now chairman emeritus of that organization. Frank can be reached at


One more thing. Alex always called me “my little Daddy.” It was very appropriate because the tables were often reversed. It almost had that upside-down flavor of her being the parent and me being the child. It’s curious but I, too, have a genetic lung condition. It’s not cystic fibrosis, but I may have to eventually deal with some of the same challenges that she dealt with so magnificently. I just know that whenever my time comes, I will be so ashamed of myself unless I can be as courageous as she was.

Acclaimed sportswriter FRANK DEFORD shares the sweetness and sadness of his daughter Alex’s battle with cystic fibrosis.

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Frank Deford’s NOVELS