Lenox Rawlings 2015
enters the N.C. Sports Hall of Fame
with fondest memories of his
parents, who provided him with an endless stream of books, magazines and newspapers, and his
paternal grandfather, who exposed him to New York newspapers and the superbly chosen words of acclaimed sportswriter Red Smith.
recalls with gratitude the athletes, coaches and personalities about whom he
has written, and fellow members of the sportswriting fraternity, including 1977 inductee Dick Herbert of The News & Observer, his
first sports editor.
The inductee is the son of the late Gloria Thompson Rawlings and Lenox D. Rawlings Jr.
was born in 1950 in Rocky Mount and grew up in Wilson.
He is a 1968 graduate of Fike High School, where he was a member of the basketball team, and a 1972 graduate of the University of North Carolina, where he majored in journalism.
is best known as a sports columnist for the Winston-Salem Journal
, a position he
held from 1978 until his
retirement in December 2012.
covered all of the big events - Masters, Olympics, World Series, U.S. Open golf, NCAA Final Four, ACC Tournament, Daytona 500, Appalachian State's three national football championships - and quite possibly was the only sportswriter in attendance when both Hank Aaron (1974) and Barry Bonds (2007) broke baseball's all-time home run record.
In addition to The News & Observer, Rawlings worked for The Wilson Daily Times, the Greensboro Daily News and the Atlanta Constitution before joining the Winston-Salem Journal as a political reporter in 1976.
Two years later his
life and career changed forever when he
moved over to the sports department, made his
permanent home in Greensboro, married Janice Johnson Karabin and became a step-father to her
daughter, Jennifer, and her
flourished in his
newfound role as a sports columnist, earning numerous awards from the N.C. Press Association
and, more importantly, the respect and admiration of his
did things the right way," said longtime Winston-Salem Journal
sportswriter Dan Collins.
If a question needed to be asked, Lenox
was the guy who asked it."
Wilt Browning, a N.C. Sports Hall of Fame member and former sports columnist, called on Rawlings to write the chapter on auto racing for "Nothing Finer," a history of North Carolina sports published last year.
"No one in the newspaper business in North Carolina ever mastered the written word in that regard more successfully than Lenox
was honored three times as N.C. Sportswriter of the Year and in 2013 received the Atlantic Coast Conference's Marvin "Skeeter" Francis Award for his
coverage of the league.
He is a past president of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association and 2013 inductee of the USBWA Hall of Fame and the Fike High School Athletic Hall of Fame.