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Detroit Free Press sports columnist Drew Sharp dies at 56

Sharp died of hypertensive coronary vascular disease, officials say

DETROIT – Drew Sharp, a Detroit Free Press sports columnist since 1999, died Friday morning at his home in Bloomfield Hills.

Sharp was 56. He died of a hypertensive coronary vascular disease, according to the Oakland County Medical Examiner's Office.

Sharp covered all things sports for the paper, including college and professional sports. He made frequent appearances on national sports television programs.

Sharp is a 1978 graduate of Detroit Catholic Central and a 1982 graduate of the University of Michigan.

"Drew Sharp loved writing about our beloved Detroit sports. He was powerful voice, with big opinions. " said Robert Huschka, executive editor of the Detroit Free Press. "He was a longtime member of the Free Press family -- and he will be greatly missed."

Fans and colleagues were shocked to learn of Sharp's untimely death. Readers and athletes spent Friday remembering him and his work.

People who knew him said he placed honesty above popularity. But above all, he was the voice of frustrated fans.

Few writers had a sharper pen or a sharper tongue. He was paid for his opinion, and fans got their money's worth.

Colleagues called Sharp the Prince of Darkness. He was direct, unapologetic, unusually contrarian and sometimes unpopular.

Sharp overcame two open heart surgeries before he was 8 years old, killing any hope of playing organized sports. He had a debilitating stutter, yet became a fixture on the radio.

You can hear from fans and colleagues in Guy Gordon's story, posted in the video above.

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