Caulton Tudor, a WRAL sports columnist and former News & Observer columnist, died Tuesday evening, Rick Gall, WRAL’s news director, confirmed Wednesday morning. Tudor was 70.
WRAL confirmed Tudor’s death after speaking with his wife and another family member, Gall said.
Gall said it was a tough loss for WRAL.
“It’s a tough loss for your newsroom too,” he said. “The body of Caulton’s legendary work, and legendary career took place in your newsroom.”
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The News & Observer executive editor John Drescher said, “Caulton was an excellent analyst of college sports and had deep historical knowledge of the ACC.”
“Because of that, he had a large and loyal following. He also was a great colleague. We will miss him greatly.”
Tudor, an Angier native, wrote for the N&O for more than 40 years. Tudor graduated from East Carolina University. In May, he was inducted into the N.C. Sports Hall of Fame.
He covered 35 ACC tournaments, 24 Final Fours, 22 college football bowl games, six years of NFL playoffs, four years of NHL playoffs, the 1996 Olympics and one College World Series.
“I honestly thought they were trying to find Tom Suiter because our names rhyme,” Tudor told the N&O in January after the announcement. “There are lots more people qualified and more deserving than I am in the media and just athletics in general. I guess longevity plays a role.”
In 1999, he was inducted into the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Hall of Fame. He was selected as the North Carolina Sportswriter of the Year three times.
“He was so well informed through the relationships he built over the years with coaches, players and athletic administrators. His writing was witty and thought provoking,” WRAL’s Jeff Gravley said in a statement. “While you may not agree with his stance, you respected his opinion. Caulton Tudor truly deserved to be called a legend and an icon. There will never be another like him.”
Colleagues, friends and people he interacted with expressed their condolences on Twitter.