- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 2, 2015

GADSDEN, Ala. (AP) - Jimmy Smothers, a longtime sports editor for The Gadsden Times who covered everything from Little League to the opening of the Talladega Speedway and college football, died Monday. He was 82.

Smothers joined The Gadsden Times in 1961 and became sports editor two years later. He retired in late 2006, but continued to write columns and articles for the newspaper. In 2011, he became the fifth sportswriter inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.

“I never have cared much for the spotlight,” Smothers said in an interview before his induction. “I’d rather be writing about somebody else. It’s something different for me. It’s been a thrill.”

Smothers covered all manner of sports throughout his career, from youth athletics up to NCAA bowl games and the Masters.

He was at Talladega for the 1969 opening of the speedway and covered the Daytona 500 on several occasions. For years, he was a regular at Alabama and Auburn. He counted legendary coaches Paul Bryant and Shug Jordan among his friends.

“Jimmy was born for the newspaper business,” Times Executive Editor Ron Reaves said. “He covered sports, but he did more than just cover games or races. He covered people and relished telling their stories more than they did. He was a true professional and absolutely loved newspapering.”

Smothers was born Jan. 4, 1933, in Geraldine. He graduated Geraldine High School in 1951 and went on to attend Jacksonville State University for three years. He taught school for four years and was the youngest principal in DeKalb County history.

While teaching, Smothers worked part time as a correspondent for several newspapers. He was previously sports editor of the Sand Mountain Reporter and a sports writer for the Birmingham Post-Herald.


Information from: The Gadsden Times, https://www.gadsdentimes.com

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