WATCH: Adam Schefter Shares Powerful Tribute To Late Mentor Chris Mortensen

By Jason Hall

March 4, 2024

Photo: Getty Images

ESPN's Adam Schefter shared a powerful tribute to his longtime friend and mentor Chris Mortensen Monday (March 4) morning following news of the legendary NFL reporter's death on Sunday (March 3).

“Through the years, Mort remained ESPN’s reporting conscience, its most senior and trusted voice. He had seen so much, knew so many, and had established himself not only as one of the greatest football reporters in history, but as one of the greatest sports reporters in history. It is just one reason why so many turned to him for guidance on stories that mattered, because he did,” Schefter narrated in the video tribute produced by ESPN associate producer Vinny Coladonato.

Schefter had previously shared a post on his X account following news of Mortensen's death on Sunday.

"An absolutely devastating day. Mort was one of the greatest reporters in sports history, and an even better man. Sincerest condolences to his family, and all who knew and loved him. So many did. Mort was the very best. He will be forever missed and remembered," Schefter wrote.

Motensen's family confirmed his death via ESPN on Sunday. The 72-year-old contributed to ESPN's NFL coverage since 1991, breaking numerous stories throughout his four decades with the company, including eventual Pro Football Hall of Famer Peyton Manning's retirement in 2016, and receiving the Pro Football Writers of America's Dick McCann Award and being honored during the Pro Football Hall of Fame's enshrinement ceremony that same year.

"Mort was widely respected as an industry pioneer and universally beloved as a supportive, hard-working teammate," said Jimmy Pitaro, chairman of ESPN, in a statement shared by the company. "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."

Mortsensen, who was initially revealed he was diagnosed with Stage 4 throat cancer in January 2016, stepped away from his role with ESPN in 2023 "to focus on my health, family and faith." The veteran journalist had previously contributed to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The National, The Sporting News and CBS Sports' 'NFL Today' prior to joining ESPN.

"Mort helped set the journalism standard in the early days of ESPN. His credibility, attention to detail and reporting skills catapulted our news and information to a new level," said Norby Williamson, executive editor and head of studio production for ESPN, in a statement shared by the company. "More importantly, he was a great teammate and human being. He personified care and respect for people which became the culture of ESPN."

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