CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Tom Higgins, a journalist who covered NASCAR for 33 years at the Charlotte Observer and was inducted into the sport's Hall of Fame, has died. He was 80.
He died Tuesday at a hospice in Mooresville after suffering a stroke nearly one year ago and four days after his birthday, daughter Heather Higgins said.
Higgins covered NASCAR at the Observer from 1964, the early days of the stock car series, until 1997, when the sport began to expand beyond the South. Higgins was prolific, often writing four or five byline stories a day; his personal record was 12.
NASCAR Chairman Brian France called Higgins "a media giant" and said Higgins' was "a must-read journalist whose reporting was rightly taken as gospel." He also was an outdoors writer for the Observer.
Higgins in 2015 was the fourth recipient of the Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence. He was honored during that year's induction ceremony and was featured in an exhibit at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte.
Higgins is survived by two children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. A memorial is scheduled for a later date.
Information from: The Charlotte Observer, http://www.charlotteobserver.com