Frank and his wife Carol have two biological children, Christian and Alexandra, and an adopted daughter, Scarlett. Their daughter Alexandra (Alex) died of cystic fibrosis in 1980, at the tender age of eight.
Frank Deford: (about his daughter, his second child) Alex was the icing on the cake. Imagine getting your boy and your girl, just like that, in that order, exactly like in the comic strips.
Frank Deford: (about letters he has received since his 8-year-old daughter's death) Most adults go too far in the wrong direction. It's a natural human error, I suppose; nobody tells you what to write to a bereaved parent. But some of them go on at great length about how difficult this must be for us and what wonderful parents we had been, which is, in truth, the last thing we want to hear, because it only makes us feel more guilty. Let me tell you something. If a child dies, tell their parents about the child, not themselves.