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RICK REILLY, has been voted National Sportswriter of the Year 11 times. For nearly 23 years—from 1985 until 2007—his unique, breezy, hilarious style graced the pages of Sports Illustrated. For the last 10 there he wrote the popular “Life of Reilly” column, which ran on the last page. It was the first signed weekly opinion column in the magazine’s long history.
In June, 2008, Reilly began writing for ESPN the Magazine, ESPN.com, and delivering essays for ESPN SportsCenter and ABC-TV’s golf coverage. He also hosts an interview show.
Reilly is also the founder of the anti-malaria effort Nothing But Nets, which has raised millions of dollars to hang mosquito nets over kids in Africa, where 3,000 children die every day of the disease. A partnership with the United Nations Foundation, every dollar goes to buying the nets (NothingButNets.net) At last count, it’s raised nearly $18 million.
Reilly is co-author of the screenplay "Leatherheads," a comic romance centered on the 1924 Duluth Eskimos of the fledgling NFL. George Clooney will star and direct (Universal), along with Renee Zellweger and John Krasinski. It hit theaters in April, 2008.
Probably too curious for his own good, Reilly has flown upside down at 600 miles per hour in an F-14, faced fastballs from Nolan Ryan, jumped from 14,000 feet with the U.S. Army Parachute Team, driven a stock car 142 miles per hour, piloted the Goodyear blimp, competed against 107 women for a spot in the WNBA, worked three innings of play-by-play for the Colorado Rockies, bicycled with Lance Armstrong, anchored a half hour of ESPN NEWS, driven a monster truck over six parked cars, worked as a rodeo bullfighter, competed in the World Sauna Championships, tried his hand at women’s pro football and played 108 holes of golf in one day.
He lives in Denver and in Hermosa Beach, Calif., with his girlfriend and a putter he’s not currently speaking to.