Legendary Triangle sports columnist Caulton Tudor, who has contributed to WRAL-TV and WRALSportsFan.com since 2013, passed away Tuesday, October 31, 2017. He was 70.
Tudor’s family confirmed the news to WRAL Wednesday morning.
Prior to joining WRALSportsFan.com, Tudor was a writer and columnist with Raleigh Times and the News & Observer for nearly 40 years.
WRAL-TV sports anchor Jeff Gravley said “there will never be another like him.”
“He was so well informed through the relationships he built over the years with coaches, players and athletic administrators,” Gravley said. “His writing was witty and thought provoking. While you may not agree with his stance, you respected his opinion. Caulton Tudor truly deserved to be called a legend and an icon.”
ACC Commissioner John Swofford also weighed in on Tudor’s impact on sports coverage in North Carolina.
“Caulton was a prominent and important part of the North Carolina and ACC sports scene. His was a respected voice in this state’s storied sports history, and his love for his profession showed in the quality of his work and his demeanor. He will be missed by many,” Swofford said in a statement.
Bob Harris, who recently retired after 40 years as the radio voice of the Duke Blue Devils, said Tudor was “one of a kind.”
“He will be truly remembered as a fantastic sportswriter who put his entire being into his work. It didn’t matter if he was writing about the NCAA Basketball Championship or a Pee-wee baseball game, the event got his best,” Harris said in a statement. “I first met him on the ACC Football Tour bus shortly after I got the Duke play-by-play job, and we have remained great friends since. ‘Toots’ loved life and tried to enjoy it to the fullest. He was a pretty decent Bridge player, but could never beat Bill Brill and myself until the last year that it was held. He and his partner ‘got lucky on a couple of bids’ and eked out a win. He never let Brill or me forget it.”
An Angier native who attended East Carolina University, Tudor has covered 35 ACC basketball tournaments and 24 NCAA Final Fours; 22 college football bowl games; the 1996 Olympics; 6 years of NFL playoffs; 4 years of NHL playoffs; and one College World Series.
He has also been a member of Heisman Trophy selection panel since 1974, is a member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association Hall of Fame (1999) and has been named N.C. sportswriter of the year three times.
Tudor was one of eight inducted in May into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.
“This is the best day of my life professionally and it’s also the most disappointing day of my life professionally,” Tudor said in a pre-recorded acceptance speech for his Hall of Fame induction. “This is a great honor that I never expected (and) certainly don’t deserve it more than one hundred other people, or may one thousand other people.
“It’s also disappointing in that I can’t be there physically — I’m there mentally, I’m there spiritually and my feelings are such that I can’t start this without thanking the people that I’ve been involved with, the people that I really owe this to.”
Tudor began covering sports for The Raleigh Times in 1970 and was the lead sports columnist for The News & Observer for more than 20 years after the two newspapers were merged in the 1980s.
Tudor’s columns ran regularly in The News & Observer and The Charlotte Observer from 2007 until his retirement from newspaper work in March 2013.
Thanks to WRALSportsFan.com for this capcom story & photo.