PODCAST: Fred Mitchell, Chicago Blackhawks

Fred Mitchell. longtime Chicago Tribune sportswriter and Community Correspondent for Chicago Blackhawks

Tune in for Episode 40 of the Sports Philanthropy Podcast as our host Roy Kessel is joined by longtime Chicago Tribune sportswriter Fred Mitchell who is currently an adjunct professor of Journalism at DePaul University as well as the Community Correspondent for the Chicago Blackhawks.

We take a look at Fred’s athletic career and the important role that sports has played in his professional life. Fred tell’s us about his philosophy on writing about the athletes he has covered and shares his insight from over 40 years working at the Chicago Tribune.

As the first African-American sportswriter working for the Tribune, Fred shares stories from the early days in his career, and the important lessons that he learned in the process of writing 12 books.

Fred emphasizes the importance of hard work and talks about how critical it is for aspiring sports journalists and sports business professionals to put in significant effort and demonstrate the patience needed to develop the strong base of skills required for long-term success.

Fred had so much wisdom to share with us that we had to record two sessions of the Podcast. We know you will enjoy and benefit from Fred’s insight.

Here are the images of some of Fred’s books if you want to read more of his work.

Part 1 of Episode 40 of the Sports Philanthropy Podcast where longtime sports journalist Fred Mitchell sits down with our host Roy Kessel of the Sports Philathropy Network
Part 2 of Episode 40 of the Sports Philathropy Podcast featuring Fred Mitchell


  • 00:30 Background
  • 02:35 Early work history
  • 04:20 Starting his career at the Chicago Tribune in 1974
  • 06:30 Getting the beat for covering the Chicago Bulls in 1981
  • 12:00 Advice to students and aspiring sports business professionals
  • 14:00 Internship advice to his students and other students
  • 16:00 Impact of social media on journalism
  • 18:00 Critiques arising from the steroid controversy
  • 30:15 Coverage of Tiger Woods and book with Earl Woods
  • 32:00 Placekicker at Wittenberg Universi
  • 33:15 Genesis of the Fred Mitchell Award and its nomination committee
  • 37:10 National Football Foundation Award ceremony


  • 00:15 Speed of placekicking process
  • 04:10 His career at Wittenberg University
  • 06:30 Coaches he admired at Wittenberg
  • 11:00 His career covering community events at the Chicago Tribune
  • 13:30 Transition to writing for the Chicago Blackhawks
  • 15:45 Chicago Blackhawks Foundation and Building Champions Program
  • 21:00 Athletes finding their passion
  • 23:00 Fred as Commissioner of the NFL
Roy Kessel

Roy Kessel

Roy Kessel is the Founder of the Sports Philanthropy Network. Roy has worked in the sports business world for over 20 years including serving as an instructor in Northwestern University's graduate Sports Management Program. Having served as a sports lawyer representing athletes, entrepreneurs and start-up businesses, Roy has extensive experience helping organizations improve their strategy, marketing, communications and leadership development.
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