John Clayton, legendary NFL journalist and radio host, passes away

Mar 18, 2022, 7:30 PM | Updated: Mar 19, 2022, 11:14 am
John Clayton...
"The Professor" John Clayton. (Bonneville Seattle photo)
(Bonneville Seattle photo)

John Clayton, a Hall of Fame football journalist, Seattle radio institution and dear teammate of ours at Seattle Sports, passed away Friday afternoon at the age of 67.

Known to millions as “The Professor,” John had a 50-year career in sports media that included covering the Pittsburgh Steelers and Seattle Seahawks, a long tenure as a beloved ESPN NFL analyst, and serving as host of sports radio shows in Seattle, including Seattle Sports 710 AM for the past 14 years. He was a daily presence on the Seattle Sports Station, hosted The John Clayton Show on Saturday mornings, and was a longtime contributor to as a Seahawks and NFL columnist.

“John was a treasured member of our team,” said Bonneville Seattle Senior Vice President and Market Manager Cathy Cangiano. “John was a legend in our industry and a true Hall of Famer. He was a consistent advocate for the game of football.

“His connections, friendships and relationships throughout the sports world were simply unmatched. His love of football was only surpassed by his love, loyalty and dedication to his wife Pat. John will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Pat and his family and friends.”

Listen to Saturday’s tribute show remembering “The Professor” John Clayton

John started his career in 1972 covering his hometown Pittsburgh Steelers, then 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 a can’t-miss television for football fans. He also starred in one of the most memorable “This is SportsCenter” commercials in the long history of the ESPN campaign.

In 2007, John was honored with The Bill Nunn Memorial Award, presented annually by the Professional Football Writers of America for long and distinguished reporting on football.

Tributes on social media immediately began pouring in Friday night from those who have crossed paths with him, including NFL players, teams, and his colleagues and friends.

We will miss you, Professor.

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