Philadelphia Sports TV Anchor Don Tollefson: Where Is He Now?
I was thinking about Don Tollefson, the former WPVI Channel 6 ABC television sports anchor - director, and wondered … where is he now?
First, a little background about Tollefson’s more than 37 years on the Philadelphia television scene.
Tollefson joined WPVI in 1975 and became sports director a year later.
Tollefson’s career at a WPVI was enduring, lasting until 1990 when he announced that he was leaving ABC to form a non-profit organization.
The mission of Tollefson’s Charity was structured to help young people to avoid drug abuse, truancy, and a life of crime.
Tollefson’s time at WPVI was fortuitous, as it coincided with a time when Philadelphia had great success in professional football, basketball, baseball, and hockey.
Three of the major sports teams won league championships during Tollefson’s tenure. Only the Eagles did not win a league championship during Tollefson’s Philly television sports career … but, the Eagles did have great success during the head coach Dick Vermeil and Buddy Ryan eras.
The Eagles had not made the playoffs since 1960 before Vermeil became head coach in 1976.
The 1960 Philadelphia eagles won the league championship, prior to the modern Super Bowl era.
Tollefson returned to the Philadelphia television scene in 1985, joining WTXF Fox 29 Philadelphia.
Tollefson served in general assignments, including sports. He also served as a host of Good Day Philadelphia from 1996-1998.
Tollefson left WTXF when he was let go in 2008.
According to Wikipedia, in 2013, Tollefson acknowledged having a decades-long alcoholic abuse issue, along with a prescription pain killers addiction.
In 2015, Tollefson told The Philadelphia Daily News that he had been sober for 468 days.
Tollefson also experienced a dark chapter in his life, that culminated with a fraud trial.
On January 21, 2015, Tollefson was found guilty on all counts of charges. Tollefson maintained throughout that he was guilty of bad business practices … and, that he never intended to defraud anyone.
Tollefson served 14 months in state prison and was released in late 2017.
None of that is meant to be a part of our retrospective of Don Tollefson. But, we did not want to leave it unmentioned.
Don Tollefson played a major role on the Philadelphia television scene for almost 4 decades.
Tollefson was a major storyteller of some of the biggest moments in Philadelphia sports history.
As recently as 2020, Mr. and Mrs. Don Tollefson reside in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
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