A true professional, Dickerson remained at the forefront of sports media throughout his long career. He was a pioneer of radio, the first to host an ESPN-branded show on the airwaves and a master at covering the NFL for both television and radio. He also helped countless colleagues get their start in broadcasting, including Minnesota Vikings reporter Courtney Cronin, who credits Dickerson for helping her land her first job with ESPN. His affable personality made him an instant hit on the airwaves and he built a deep connection with his listeners.
He starred in numerous TV shows, from 1953’s “The Larry Storch Show” to “Sanford and Son,” “Good Times,” “Taxi,” and “Charlie’s Angels.” His role as Brian Piccolo, the Chicago Bears running back who succumbed to cancer in the 1971 TV movie “Brian’s Song,” was perhaps his most memorable role, earning him an Emmy nomination. He later took on stage work, appearing in August Wilson’s “Jitney” and James Baldwin’s “The Amen Corner.”
After he retired from acting, Dickerson devoted himself to his family. He was a beloved mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend. He loved to spend time with his nieces and nephews. He enjoyed playing video games and was always the life of the party. He loved his girls and will be missed by all who knew him.
During his battle with cancer, Dickerson refused to let the disease slow him down, even joking that he had too much experience with it already. During his final days, he was at the forefront of the fight against the disease, hosting fundraisers and serving as an emcee for events honoring the memory of fellow ESPN sportswriter Vaughn McClure, who died of cancer in 2020.
Dickerson was also active with the American Cancer Society and other cancer-related organizations. He helped establish the Vaughn McClure Foundation, a non-profit that raises money for cancer research. He also continued to cover the Chicago Bears for ESPN digital and ESPN 1000 radio, while maintaining a full schedule as Parker’s father and a dedicated journalist.