Author of ‘Heroes are Human’ to speak at Adrian College’s annual Freligh Community Lecture Series

Posted Monday, October 23, 2023
Author: Mickey Alvarado

Bob Delaney, author of “Heroes are Human, Lessons in Resilience, Courage and Wisdom From the COVID Front Lines,” will be the featured speaker at Adrian College’s annual Freligh Community Lecture Series at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 1, in the Adrian Tobias Center. The event is free and open to the public.

Delaney’s book, co-authored by Dave Scheiber, honors front-line healthcare workers, recounting gripping, first-hand stories of their struggles through the pandemic. It was released in 2022.

His life story has been told by HBO’s Real Sports, ESPN and ABC, in dozens of newspaper and magazine articles throughout the United States and Europe, and in his critically acclaimed book, “Covert: My Years Infiltrating the Mob.”

Delaney has risen to the top of two elite organizations — in law enforcement as a highly decorated trooper with the New Jersey State Police and as a highly-respected National Basketball Association (NBA) referee who advanced to the position of the NBA Vice President Director of Officials. His NBA referee career began in 1987 and he covered more than 1,700 regular season games, 200 playoff contests and nine finals. Delaney worked the 1998 and 2011 All-Star Games, the 1994 Opening NBA games in Yokohama, Japan, and the 2010 NBA China games. He received the prestigious Gold Whistle Award from the National Association of Sports Officials in 2003.

Delaney has also made a major contribution away from the game. He testified before the United States Senate on organized crime in 1981, detailing his perilous year undercover for the New Jersey State Police — putting his life on the line for nearly three years while infiltrating the Genovese and Bruno crime families.

Delaney’s book “Covert,” co-authored by Scheiber, launched in 2008 and was named one of USA Today’s “Best Books of the Year.” It was called “An undercover memoir for the Sopranos Age” by the New York Times.

He wrote his second book, “Surviving the Shadows... A Journey of Hope into Post Traumatic Stress,” in 2010 and opened even more opportunities for him to talk world-wide about resiliency. Delaney presents leadership and teamwork seminars before corporate, university and community organizations. He is one of the featured speakers in Adrian College President Jeffrey Docking’s Leadership Class.

The Freligh Community Lecture Series honors the late Bob and Jean Lok Freligh, longtime supporters, and friends of Adrian College. An anonymous donation to honor the Frelighs was made in 2013 and has brought many nationally and internationally known speakers to Adrian College.

For more information about this year’s event, email Adrian College Assistant to President for Events and Special Projects/Director of Stewardship Cynthia Beaubien at or visit

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