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Sports journalist Terez Paylor dies suddenly at 37

"His legacy will leave an enduring impact on sports journalism, the NFL, the Kansas City Chiefs, and their fans," Paylor's fianceé said.
Image: Terez Paylor, June 2013.
Terez Paylor in 2013.Courtesy The Kansas City Star

Prominent pro football journalist Terez Paylor died suddenly at age 37, his fiancée said Tuesday.

Ebony Reed, Paylor's longtime girlfriend and fiancée, said he will be dearly missed.

"While we are shocked and saddened by Terez Paylor's sudden passing, we also celebrate his extraordinary life that touched so many," Reed said in a statement. "Terez was an exceptional journalist whose passion for football made him a respected voice.

"His legacy will leave an enduring impact on sports journalism, the NFL, the Kansas City Chiefs, and their fans," she continued. "More important, Terez was a devoted son, grandson, brother, an adoring fiancé, and a wonderful friend to so many. To know him was to love him."

Paylor hosted a podcast for Yahoo Sports and was the site's senior NFL reporter. Sam Mellinger, a former colleague at The Kansas City Star, said Paylor didn't travel to the Super Bowl this year because he wanted to stay safe amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Paylor's unexpected death Tuesday was met with an outpouring of admiration and praise on social media from colleagues, fans and the NFL team in Kansas City that he spent years covering.

"Hearing the news of Terez's passing is heart wrenching," the team said in a statement on Twitter. "He was so young and full of life, he always wanted to do right by people. Many of us in the Chiefs had the opportunity over the years to build a friendship with him, including our players, coaches and staff, and he was an incredible person with the right attitude and integrity."

Paylor, a member of the Pro Football Writers of America, was a voter for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was also an active member of the Kansas City Association of Black Journalists.

Paylor, who was originally from Detroit, worked as a sportswriter for The Star from 2006 until 2018, when he left to join Yahoo Sports, according to the newspaper. He attended Howard University, graduating with a degree in print journalism.