Joseph Valerio
Collins Funeral Home
92 East Ave.
Norwalk, CT
Joseph Valerio
Joseph Valerio, 71, a dignified gentleman who was loved by friends, family and colleagues alike, passed away at home on May 14, 2021, after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was surrounded by his loving family. He is survived by his devoted wife of 42 years, Deborah and their three children, Courtney, Brian and Caroline, son-in-law, Jody Feldman, daughter-in-law, Alexandra Mackey, and grandchildren Jameson, Colin, Rory, Elizabeth and Chloe.
Joseph was born in New York City, and raised in Westfield, NJ. Upon graduation from Fairfield University, he landed a job as a copy-boy at the New York Post, and quickly rose up the editorial ranks to become a sports columnist. In 1974 Esquire Magazine named him one of the top 25 sportswriters in the country.
In 1978 he made the serendipitous move to ABC Sports, where, on his first day, he met the love of his life, his "remarkable wife", Deborah. Throughout the 70's and 80's Joseph worked at ABC News, and CBS Sports, earning multiple Emmy awards for television production. In 1980, Joseph moved to ESPN and contributed to the development of the network through its infancy. In 1989, Joseph became Executive Producer of ESPN's legendary Sunday morning series, The Sports Reporters. Each week, for nearly three decades, Joseph's panel of sports reporters were given a national platform to highlight and analyze curated and often controversial topics. His vision, meticulous attention to detail and integrity provided the framework for the show's long-standing success and loyal audience. Joseph also lent his considerable knowledge to the NFL Network, consulting on programming development.
In the true spirit of a writer, Joseph penned hundreds of letters to his wife and children, marked with affection, compassion, and unconditional love. Joseph authored the book, "Second to None," as a tribute to the Buffalo Bills, his son Brian's favorite childhood team. The consummate family-man, Joseph was a regular cheering on his children at Little League, swim meets, ballet recitals and piano recitals. However, his favorite person to cheer on was his wife, whom he would often accompany on her golf outings, acting as her caddy, sharing observations and advice on her ever-improving game.
Joseph was an avid sports fan, a voracious reader, and theater enthusiast. He especially enjoyed taking his wife, children and grandchildren to the Westport Country Playhouse and Broadway. A Neil Young fan, to the very end, "Rockin' in the Free World" was his Parting Shot. Donations in Joseph's memory may be made at the Westport Country Playhouse in CT. Please visit to leave condolences.
Published by Westport-News on May 26, 2021.
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2 Entries
Ann & Anne
July 13, 2021
Joe Valerio was a privilege to work with! I had the great fortune of appearing on The Sports Reporters multiple times. Joe was always so kind, supportive, generous with his time and spirit. His dignity was unique. I am so saddened to hear this news. He definitely influenced me and offered me many opportunities I had never dreamed of. My very best to his family. I hope they know that Joe had many, many fans who worked with him! Sincerest condolences.
Michele Tafoya
May 28, 2021
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