Trib sportswriter to talk ‘Life Lessons’ Sept. 10

Fred Mitchell

Fred Mitchell

Award-winning sportswriter Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune will be on NIU’s campus next month to deliver a talk on “Life Lessons Learned from Sports.”

The Friends of the NIU Libraries will host the event at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10, in the staff lounge on the lower level of Founders Memorial Library. The event is free and open to the public.

Since joining the Chicago Tribune in 1974, Mitchell has served as the beat writer covering the Cubs, Bulls and Bears, becoming the only reporter in Tribune history to handle the three major sports as a main assignment, according to his Tribune biography.

Mitchell has written 11 books, including biographies with Bears Hall of Famers Gale Sayers and Richard Dent, and Cubs Hall of Famers Billy Williams and Ryne Sandberg. Mitchell also wrote “Playing Through” with Earl Woods, the late father of Tiger Woods, and “Then Ditka Said To Payton” with former Bear Dan Jiggetts.

Mitchell received the “Jim Murray Award” as the outstanding sportswriter in 2000 from the American Football Foundation. In 2010, he was honored as the Bill Gleason Outstanding Sportswriter of the Year by the Pitch & Hit Club, and with the Irv Kupcinet Media Award.

Born in Cincinnati, Mitchell grew up in Gary, Ind., where he earned letters in baseball, track and football at Tolleston High School while serving as editor of his school paper and yearbook, graduating with honors at 16. At Wittenberg University, Mitchell lettered in football and track and was named to the Lutheran College All-America team in 1968 after setting the NCAA College Division record for career scoring by a kicker.

He was inducted into Wittenberg’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1995. An annual national award for the outstanding kicker among the more than 750 non-FBS colleges is handed out during the National Football Foundation ceremony and is named in his honor: “The Fred Mitchell Award,” which recognizes outstanding kicking, as well as community service.

Free parking for Mitchell’s talk is available after 7 p.m. in the Visitor’s Parking Lot located on Carroll Avenue. The lot is located just west of Founders Memorial Library. A campus map is available online.

For more information, call (815) 753-8091 or email libraryfriend@niu.edu.

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