Jerry Byrd, American sportswriter, Died at 80


Jerry Barksdale Byrd, Sr. was born on October 4, 1935, and died on April 21, 2016.

He was a legendary sportswriter for the now defunct Shreveport Journal in his native Shreveport, Louisiana.

Byrd has covered sports for the newspaper from May 29, 1957, starting the morning after his graduation from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

Jerry remained with The Journal under two different long-term publishers, Douglas F. Attaway and Charles T. Beaird, until the paper ceased daily operations on March 30, 1991.

He was a member of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.

Jerry has written six books, beginning with Jerry Byrd’s Football Country, a publication loaded with sports records, facts, and events that many would have otherwise forgotten.

Byrd was a pioneer in the coverage of African-American athletes, such as baseball players Vida Blue, originally from Mansfield in DeSoto Parish, south of Shreveport, and James Rodney Richard at the former historically black Lincoln High School in Ruston.

He was the first white sportswriter to cover all-black teams in Shreveport-Bossier City during the era of segregation.

Byrd’s second book, Louisiana Sports Legends, published in 1992, examines the achievements of the first 145 members of the Natchitoches-based Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.

During 2002, Jerry published Louisiana’s Best in High School Football: Stories of the State’s Greatest Players, Coaches, and Teams.

Jerry Byrd passed away at 80 yrs old.