John Clayton, Hall of Fame football journalist, Seattle radio institution and dear teammate at Seattle Sports, died Friday afternoon at the age of 67.
Known to millions as “The Professor”, John had a 50-year career in sports media, including coverage of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks, a long tenure as an ESPN analyst Beloved NFL and sports radio host in Seattle, including Seattle Sports 710 AM for the past 14 years. He was a daily presence at the Seattle Sports Station, hosted The John Clayton Show on Saturday mornings, and was a longtime contributor to SeattleSports.com as a Seahawks and NFL columnist.
“John was a valuable member of our team,” said Cathy Cangiano, Senior Vice President and Market Director of Bonneville Seattle. “John was a legend in our industry and a true Hall of Famer. He was a constant defender of the game of football.
“His connections, friendships and connections in the world of sport were simply second to none. His love of football was only surpassed by his love, loyalty and dedication to his wife Pat. Jean will be sorely missed. Our our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Pat and his family and friends.
John began his career in 1972 covering the Pittsburgh Steelers, his hometown, and later served as a Seattle Seahawks reporter for the Tacoma News Tribune. He was hired in 1995 by ESPN to cover the NFL and was a regular on the channel’s programming for 20 years. He was perhaps best known for his weekly “Four Downs” segment with former NFL quarterback Sean Salisbury, which was must-watch TV for football fans. He also starred in one of the most memorable “This is SportsCenter” commercials in ESPN’s long campaign history.
The greatest SportsCenter advertisement of all time. RIP John Clayton. pic.twitter.com/84En0H7W8G
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) March 19, 2022
In 2007, John received the Bill Nunn Memorial Award, given annually by the Professional Football Writers of America for his long and distinguished football reporting.
Tributes on social media immediately began pouring in Friday night from those who crossed paths with him, including NFL players, teams, as well as his colleagues and friends.
We will miss you, Professor.
It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of @JohnClaytonNFLit goes. His storied Hall of Fame career will forever leave a lasting legacy for football fans everywhere.
Our condolences to his wife Pat, and to his friends and family. We will miss you, Jean. pic.twitter.com/Ik8QYukA8d
—Seattle Sports (@SEASports710) March 19, 2022
Rest in peace, professor. pic.twitter.com/xFGdTYstnT
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) March 19, 2022
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) March 19, 2022
Longtime Hall of Fame coach and writer/NFL insider John Clayton has died at the age of 67.
His impact and contribution to football will be missed. pic.twitter.com/kRtnAXWeiF
– Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) March 19, 2022