LOS ANGELES – Chris Dufresne, an award-winning former sports writer for the Los Angeles Times, has died. He was 62.
He died suddenly Monday while dining with his family at home in Chino Hills, 30 miles east of Los Angeles, according to a Times staff memo posted Tuesday on Facebook.
“Chris had been awaiting the results for what appeared to be a late-stage melanoma recurrence,” the memo said.
Dufresne got a job working on the loading docks at the Times after graduating high school in 1976. His father worked in the newspaper’s transportation department for 37 years.
In 1981, he became a clerk covering high school sports at the Times’ Orange County bureau.
“He would shake his head like, 'How did my name end up in the paper? I'm supposed to be delivering it,''' recalled Steve Springer, a retired Times sportswriter and former colleague. “Everybody really respected him a lot.”
Dufresne continued rising at the paper, serving as national college football and basketball columnist from 1995-2015, when he accepted a buyout and left. In 2011, he was selected California Sportswriter of the Year by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association.
“He was a good guy and had a national reputation as being an exceptional college football writer,” said John Nadel, a retired Associated Press sportswriter who worked many of the same games as Dufresne over the years.