Jeff Dickerson, a long-time Bears beat reporter for ESPN radio in Chicago, passed away Tuesday after a year-long battle with colon cancer. He was 43.
A graduate of Buffalo Grove High School and the University of Illinois, Dickerson began covering the Bears for ESPN in 2001. He also hosted "Dickerson and Hood" along with Jonathan Hood on the station, worked as a sports reporter for ABC Channel 7 in Chicago and served as a TV analyst for Loyola's men's basketball.
Sadly, Dickerson's wife, Caitlin, passed away due to cancer in 2019. His passing leaves their 11-year-old son, Parker, without both of his parents. Dickerson is also survived by his parents, George and Sandy Dickerson.
Dickerson was known for his optimism as a person and professionalism as a reporter. Even while battling cancer, he helped raise funds for the Vaughn McClure Foundation, an organization he helped create to honor the memory of McClure, a former colleague and ESPN reporter who passed away in 2020.
Countless friends paid tribute to "J.D." on Twitter:
Eternally optimistic, gracious, humble, kind, and a pro, Jeff Dickerson was loved by everyone. Always smiling, always hopeful. He helped me through some tough times, and I am saddened about our loss. Condolences to his son Parker and his family. Much love JD. @DickersonESPN— Jeff Joniak (@JeffJoniak) December 28, 2021
For seven years, I was lucky enough to sit next to Jeff Dickerson at Halas Hall. He was the same person every single day — warm, kind, full of hope. Just an incredible friend. He was truly one of the greatest people I will ever know.— Chris Emma (@CEmma670) December 28, 2021
Absolutely heartbroken. Jeff Dickerson was one of the very first people to welcome me to Chicago & to the Bears beat. I can't put into words how kind, wonderful, strong, & positive he was. Every. Single. Day.— Kaitlin Sharkey (@KRoseSharkey) December 28, 2021
Rest In Peace, JD. Sending all the love & support to his son & family
There are some wonderful tributes to Jeff Dickerson. All do a great job capturing what a true friend, classy reporter & supremely positive person he was. We shared many laughs over the years. Jeff died of cancer today and will be missed by everyone fortunate enough to know him.— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) December 28, 2021
This is difficult @DickersonESPN was a brother, a buddy, a confidante & we shared good bottles of wine on the road covering #ChicagoBears. I have never met a more generous & optimistic person. I'm grateful to say goodbye last week. Prayers to Parker & his parents #Heartbroken— Peggy Kusinski (@peggykusinski) December 28, 2021
Unspeakably sad: Jeff Dickerson, a fixture at ESPN and in the Chicago sports market for two decades, died Tuesday of complications from colon cancer. He was 44. Thoughts with his 11-year-old son Parker, who now has lost both his parents to cancer. https://t.co/xhdgWZq1uG— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 28, 2021
Im devastated over the passing of Jeff Dickerson. @DickersonESPN was our go to on The Huge Show @ ESPN Radio. A treasure in this biz. Always in a good mood, willing to help, appreciative & one hell of a reporter. Respected by coaches, players & his media buds. RIP my friend— Lou Canellis FOX 32 (@LouCanellis) December 28, 2021
@DickersonESPN It was truly a gift to call you a friend!! You had a❤️of gold and was always willing lend a helping hand! I’m thankful for the opportunity I had to spend time with you last week! Even then you showed tremendous strength! I love You my friend! Rest In Heaven!🙏🏾❤️— Jason McKie (@Jmack37) December 28, 2021
Absolutely soul-crushing news to lose @DickersonESPN. JD was many things, but nothing made him prouder than being a father to his son Parker.— Field Yates (@FieldYates) December 28, 2021
He kept fighting when times were tough and kept a positive attitude every step of the way.
You will be forever missed JD 💔
Put simply, Jeff Dickerson was one of the best people I’ve ever been fortunate enough to know. How lucky it was for those of us who got to call him a friend and a teammate. His loss, much like the love and light he brought to the world, is immeasurable.— Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) December 28, 2021
I don't have the words just yet, but I'll come back when I do.— Courtney Cronin (@CourtneyRCronin) December 28, 2021
Jeff Dickerson means everything to me. He was a colleague, a confidant, a mentor and a friend. I am eternally grateful for him and the impact his presence had on my life, and I will miss him dearly.
I love you, JD. pic.twitter.com/5Q8IqYJEYd
Heartbroken. So unfair and incomprehensible… @DickersonESPN was an incredible husband, father & friend to everyone— praying for so much love to surround his son Parker- going through the unthinkable loss of both parents in 2 years. I have no words. Rest In Peace, my friend.— Dionne Miller (@dmillerabc7) December 28, 2021
My heart aches after learning of the passing of ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson. He was a top notch pro and an even better person. I also grieve for his young son Parker who lost both parents to dreadful diseases. Condolences to all who knew and admired Jeff. Such a sad day.— George Ofman (@georgeofman) December 28, 2021
Relentlessly positive. Upbeat. Inclusive. Funny.— Dan Wiederer (@danwiederer) December 28, 2021
As strong as anyone I’ve ever met.
Through **everything**, he never once felt sorry for himself. Rarely complained.
Just energized every room he entered. Always kept perspective.
That was JD. …