2010 World War II Glider Symposium keynote
speakers James Megellas, most decorated
82nd Airborne history, and Terry Frei.
Megellas died on April 2, 2020. He was 103.
Terry Frei is a Denver-based writer. He's a graduate of the
University of Colorado with degrees in journalism and history.
As a journalist, he was named a
state's sports writer of the year seven times in peer voting conducted by the National Sports Media Association -- three times
in Oregon and four times in Colorado, including most recently for 2015 and '16.
On the heels of his critically acclaimed fact-based novel, Olympic Affair, about Colorado native and 1936 Olympic decathlon champion Glenn Morris and
his belatedly disclosed toxic relationship with notoriously exploitative and opportunistic filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl, Frei
returned to non-fiction for his seventh book, March 1939: Before the Madness. That tells the story of the first NCAA basketball tournament, its plucky champions, and the
backdrop of stormclouds in advance of World War II.
Frei's earlier non-fiction books are: Horns, Hogs, and Nixon Coming; Third Down and a War to Go (foreword by David Maraniss); '77: Denver, the Broncos, and a Coming of Age; and Playing Piano in a Brothel.
The Witch's Season was his first novel.
-- mostly combining sports and history -- have drawn considerable praise from former presidents,
Pulitzer Prize winners, prominent journalists, reviewers and the public. (Here)
Frei turned relatively
recently to researching athletes' (and others') contributions to
the U.S. effort in World War II for both book and
journalism material, but has tried to make up for lost time. (Here)
In addition, Frei's collaborations
include They Call Me "Mr. De" The Story of Columbine's Heart, Resilience,
and Recovery, by former Columbine principal Frank DeAngelis; and Save By Roy,
with Adrian Dater.
He spent his
early years in Eugene, Oregon, then moved to the Denver area with his family. He's a graduate of Wheat Ridge High and began
writing for the Denver suburban Sentinel weekly chain while in high school, contributing a youth column and
covering high school football in a hip-to-toe cast after undergoing knee surgery and not playing as a senior.
After writing for the Rocky Mountain News
while attending CU, Frei joined the Denver Post after graduation for the first of his two stints there, totaling
30 years, mostly as a hybrid reporter / feature writer, columnist. (Archive here.) His Colorado newspaper career also included an enjoyable
stint as a newsroom general columnist and feature writer at The Greeley Tribune. (Here.)
He also has been sports columnist at the Portland Oregonian (here) and a national football and basketball writer for The
Sporting News, the legendary weekly then based
in St. Louis
His stories for The Sporting News included a definitive year-long look at Nick Saban, plus profiles of NFL
Hall of Famers Jerry Rice, Tony Dungy, Emmitt Smith, Aeneas Williams, Michael Irvin, Larry Allen, Charles Haley, Richard Dent,
Thurman Thomas, Shaquille O'Neal and Gary Payton. (Here.)
He has covered the NBA, NHL, MLB and NFL as a writer and/or columnist and in those roles has attended many
World Series, Super Bowls, NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Finals, Final Fours, major bowl games, Olympic Games and major boxing events.
Frei also was a long-time
vice president of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and chairman of the organization's Colorado chapter. Simultanous
with his newspaper work, he was an ESPN.com hockey columnist for nine years. (Here.)
One of national journalism's most versatile sports writers as staffs thinned out,
he at one point did the scheduling himself to be able to cover both college football (Colorado State) and the NHL (Colorado
Avalanche) at the same time for the Post. He could be in Fort Collins and Logan, Utah, one week and
New York or Calgary the next and also agreeably helped out on such things as covering the rain-delayed Class 4A high school
state baseball tournament on a Sunday of a Memorial Day weekend.
Frei has been a frequent guest speaker,
most notably at veterans-oriented events. He was honored to deliver the John Paul Hammerschmidt Lecture in Harrison,
Arkansas, the hometown of the World War II pilot, longtime Congressman and close friend of another HHNC figure who
contributed his memories for the book -- former President George H.W. Bush. Frei also has spoken at
the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, the Wisconsin State Historical Society, and Lambeau Field; and was a keynote
speaker at the World War II Glider Symposium in 2010, when he appeared with many surviving heroes,
including Lt. Col. James Megellas, the most-decorated officer in the history of the 82nd Airborne.
Arkansas Literary Festival, Little Rock
of Terry Frei's seven state Sportswriter of the Year Awards, awarded in peer voting by the National Sports Media Association.
These are for Colorado in 2000 and 2016.