Monte Carlo, April 12, 2018 - The IAAF is deeply saddened by the news that Jon Hendershott, one of the most respected athletics journalists in the US, died on Monday at his home in Salem, Oregon due to complications from a stroke he suffered on Sunday. Hendershott, who spent nearly 50 years working for the US publication Track & Field News, was 71.
Born July 20, 1946 in Bend, Oregon, Hendershott spent much of youth surrounded by athletics. His father Bob was a high school and college athletics coach, a passion that proved hereditary.
Hendershott crossed paths with a copy of Track & Field News for the first time in 1962 at age 16 when his high school track coach shared the magazine with members of his team. He subscribed immediately, beginning a relationship that would last the rest of his life.
Upon graduation from high school, Hendershott studied journalism at the University of Washington until 1967 when Track & Field News published a help-wanted ad seeking an editorial assistant. He answered, was hired, and transferred to California's San Jose State University where, sharing the campus commons with the likes of Tommie Smith and John Carlos, he completed his studies while working at the magazine.
Over the course of the next five decades, Hendershott covered hundreds of regional, national and international competitions, including nine Olympic Games and 15 world championships. Through the 1970s and 1980s it was his work as an interviewer and feature writer that proved most influential, not only elevating the standard of the magazine, but also by helping to shape coverage of the sport elsewhere in the US and around the world.