Through thousands of newspaper columns and twenty books, the Georgia-born humorist forged a bond with Southern readers—whether he wrote about football-carrying Dawgs in Athens, the chili variety at the Varsity, or his beloved black Lab, Catfish. At twenty-three the UGA alum became the youngest sports editor in the history of the Atlanta Journal, where he worked alongside his idol Furman Bisher. But when the Atlanta Constitution assigned him to write a column in 1977, Grizzard became a star, syndicated in 450 newspapers and with recurring visits to Johnny Carson’s couch on The Tonight Show. He died from heart failure at age forty-seven. A portion of his ashes was scattered on the fifty-yard line at Sanford Stadium.
A “Designing” Cameo In 1988 Grizzard guest-starred on an episode of the CBS hit sitcom Designing Women as Clayton Sugarbaker, a former mental patient.
Photograph courtesy of Atlanta Magazine, October 1986