NFL Hall of Fame writer and broadcaster John Clayton dies at 67

SEATTLE, WA – SEPTEMBER 22: NFL insider John Clayton walks on the Saints sideline during an NFL football game between the New Orleans Saints and the Seattle Seahawks on September 22, 2019 at Century Link Stadium in Seattle, WA(Photo by Jeff Halstead/Ico

John Clayton, sports writer and Hall of Fame host, died of a brief illness at the age of 67.

Clayton, a Pennsylvania native, called Seattle home as he became one of the NFL’s most prominent insiders. Clayton began his career covering the Pittsburgh Steelers for The Pittsburgh Press before finally moving northwest to cover the Seattle Seahawks for the Tacoma News Tribune in 1986.

Clayton, nicknamed “The Professor”, then became a Seattle sports staple on Sports Radio 950 KJR, hosting a weekly Saturday radio show and contributing to NFL coverage. Clayton joined ESPN in 1995 and became one of the nation’s top newsgatherers covering the NFL. He contributed to the network’s television and radio efforts while also writing for ESPN.com.

Clayton moved from KJR to 710 ESPN in 2009 for his Seattle-based radio efforts and continued with the station throughout his career. He hosted his weekly Saturday show, became a regular noon host, and became part of Seahawks radio shows as a sideline reporter.

Clayton was fired from ESPN in 2017, but later wrote for The Washington Post and 104.3 The Fan in Denver with Broncos coverage.

Clayton was named the recipient of the Bill Nunn Memorial Award in 2007, which is awarded for long and distinguished reporting on professional football. Clayton was enshrined in the Writers Wing of the Pro Football Hall of Fame for receiving the award. He is also a past president of the Pro Football Writers of America.

Clayton is survived by his wife, Patricia, and his sister, Amy.

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