Jeff Dickerson an ESPN reporter, died unexpectedly at the age of 44. His demise has left his 11-year-old son Parker alone after the tragic loss of his wife Caitlin to melanoma just two years ago.
Dickerson covered the Bears for ESPN for more than two decades before succumbing to colon cancer complications.
44-Year-Old Succumbs to Colon Cancer Complications
ESPN reporter Jeff Dickerson died on December 28, 2021, Tuesday at the age of 44 due to complications from colon cancer. Dickerson, who had been covering the Chicago Bears for ESPN for over two decades, leaves behind his 11-year-old son Parker after the tragic loss of his wife Caitlin to melanoma just two years prior.
Although Dickerson was diagnosed with colon cancer earlier in 2021, he remained determined to continue working and spending time with his son Parker. Dickerson was even captured on video claiming his condition was minor and he was only in the hospital for a routine check-up, even after being admitted.
Despite his cancer, Dickerson selflessly dedicated himself to fundraising for cancer research as a member of the Vaughn McClure Foundation. ESPN 1000 devoted its entire programming on the day of Dickerson’s passing to honor his life, with numerous guests sharing heartfelt stories and memories of the beloved reporter.
Dickerson’s death leaves his 11-year-old son Parker tragically orphaned after losing his mother Caitlin to melanoma in 2019. Dickerson made sure to spend every possible moment with Parker, traveling with him and attending his games. An outpouring of condolences on social media expressed sympathy for Parker after losing both parents at such a young age.
Jeff Dickerson Early Life
Jeff Dickerson was born on January 26, 1977, in the United States. He was the beloved son of George and Sandy Dickerson.
Dickerson spent his childhood in the suburbs of Chicago. He attended and graduated from Buffalo Grove High School.
After graduating high school, Dickerson went on to attend the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Jeff Dickerson’s Late Wife Caitlin and Son Parker Left Without Parents
Jeff Dickerson’s wife Caitlin tragically passed away in 2019 after a 7.5-year battle with melanoma. She died at the same hospital where Jeff later passed away due to colon cancer complications. Despite her illness, Jeff described Caitlin as an inspiration who refused to let cancer dictate her life.
Jeff and Caitlin shared an 11-year-old son named Parker. With both parents now deceased.
According to the Chicago Tribune, when Caitlin was battling cancer, Jeff took time off from work at ESPN to dedicate himself to caring for her and their son Parker.
After losing his wife, Jeff hosted a radio telethon to raise money for cancer research in her memory.
Though dealing with unimaginable tragedy, Parker will be surrounded by loving grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and many supportive fans. A GoFundMe for Parker has already raised over $1 million.
Jeff Dickerson Career as ESPN Reporter Across Platforms
Jeff Dickerson covered the Chicago Bears for over two decades, starting at ESPN 1000 radio in 2001 before expanding to digital with ESPNChicago.com in 2009. He transitioned to ESPN.com national NFL coverage in 2013.
Dickerson contributed to ESPN broadly across platforms. His NFL analysis could be seen on SportsCenter, NFL Live, Outside the Lines, and more.
Alongside Jonathan Hood, Dickerson co-hosted the ESPN 1000 show “Dickerson & Hood.” This allowed him to regularly provide his expert NFL analysis and perspective on Chicago sports radio.
Dickerson worked locally in Chicago as a sports reporter for ABC 7. He also served as a TV analyst for Loyola University’s men’s basketball team.
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As a journalist, Dickerson developed a reputation for asking difficult questions without injecting bias into his reporting. He confronted Bears management when warranted, but maintained fair coverage.
“George McCaskey says the league-wide loss of revenue due to COVID-19 played no role in the decision to retain Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy.”he wrote on his tweets
Jeff Dickerson had an active Twitter account under the handle @DickersonESPN. He used the platform to engage with over 100,000 followers.
Like many sports journalists, Dickerson often tweeted latest news and his analysis related to the NFL. His perspective as an ESPN reporter covering the league for 20 years offered insider insight.
In addition to NFL coverage, Dickerson also shared heartwarming photos of his young son Parker on Twitter.
Fundraising for cancer research
Even after his own colon cancer diagnosis in 2021, Jeff Dickerson stayed committed to fundraising for cancer research. He drew inspiration from his late wife Caitlin, who he called an inspiration for not letting the disease dictate her life before she passed away from melanoma in 2019.
While balancing his ongoing ESPN reporting duties and parenting his son Parker, Dickerson made time for fundraising. This included serving on the board of the Vaughn McClure Foundation, which started after the passing of fellow ESPN reporter Vaughn McClure.
On October 14th, 2021, Dickerson emceed the first-ever gala for the Vaughn McClure Foundation near Chicago.
Jeff Dickerson was determined to help raise money for cancer research, dedicating time and energy to the cause while also being a single father and full-time ESPN reporter.