Legendary NFL writer John Clayton passes away at the age of 67
The sports world was stunned on Friday evening with the news that John Clayton passed away at the age of 67. His writing and on-air appearances were only part of Clayton’s contributions, however. He made an impact well beyond those moments.
Clayton spent the past 50 years covering sports. He began his career while still a student in high school, writing bi-weekly stories for the St. Marys, Pennsylvania Daily Press. He later wrote for Steel City Sports, a weekly publication in Pittsburgh.
Clayton graduated from Duquesne University in 1976 and went on to work for The Pittsburgh Press, a paper that he wrote for on a part-time basis during college. He worked his way up to become the Steelers beat writer at the Press, before leaving the paper in 1986.
He moved across the country and began covering the Seattle Seahawks for The News Tribune in Tacoma. In 1995, Clayton joined ESPN as an NFL reporter.
In that role, he would grow in popularity. As the network boomed, so too did their on-air personalities, Clayton included. He was a trusted reporter and appeared across multiple ESPN platforms.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement on Saturday morning, showing just how respected Clayton was across the league.
”John Clayton, one of the first “Insiders,” helped bring fans closer to the game they loved. For five decades, he covered the league with endless energy and professionalism. He earned my tremendous respect and admiration as a journalist but more importantly as a wonderful person, particularly as it relates to the love, care, and devotion to his wife Pat. We will miss John and send our deepest condolences to Pat and his sister Amy,” Goodell said.
Clayton received the Dick McCann Memorial Award from the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007. He was also inducted into the sports hall of fame at Duquesne University in 2001.
It added up to a legendary career. It made John Clayton a one-of-a-kind NFL journalist.
“Our thoughts are with Pat, his family and all of our colleagues at Seattle Sports 710 during this difficult time,” Sharan concluded. “Rest in Peace, Professor.”