His career began at Sports Illustrated as a researcher; he rose quickly to become one of its top writers. This small memorial can hardly do justice to his distinguished career as a literary sports journalist. He was a Peabody Award winner, longtime NPR commentator, the author of many books, six-time Sportswriter of the Year, member of the Sportswriters Hall of Fame, and the first sportswriter to receive the National Humanities Medal, in 2013. Some years ago a prominent columnist referred to sportswriters as intellectual midgets; Frank’s next book was titled The World’s Tallest Midget.
Frank is survived by his wife of 52 years, Carol; son Christian; daughter Scarlet Crawford; and two grandchildren. He was predeceased by his daughter, Alexandra, who died at age 8 of cystic fibrosis. His book about her, Alex: The Life of a Child, received the kind of national acclaim that was to characterize his entire career.