Al Ludwick, longtime sports editor of The Augusta Chronicle and The Augusta Herald, died Wednesday morning. He was 84.
Ludwick, who is survived by his wife, Peggy, four children and seven grandchildren, will be cremated. The date for a memorial service has not been determined, Peggy Ludwick said.
The Ludwicks were married for 56 years after they’d dated for “two years and four months,” she said.
“I just loved him so much,” she said. “I kissed him last night and told him I loved him. He said he was hurting and cold.
“I don’t know how I’m going to get along without him.”
Ludwick was born in Greensburg, Pa., in 1928. He and Peggy moved to Augusta in 1961, when he started working for The Augusta Herald as an outdoors writer.
In 1963, Ludwick was promoted to sports editor “and got a $5 raise,” Peggy Ludwick said. Her husband, whose witty column was called “The ALcove,” covered all sports, including golf. Bill Baab, former outdoors editor and current fishing editor, said Ludwick almost single-handedly put out the Masters Tournament preview section by himself in the early days.
“Al was a joy to work with,” said Baab, who added Ludwick gave him permission to go to the first of 17 Bassmaster Classics in 1975. “He was very knowledgeable of all sports, but especially golf.”
Ludwick also made the most of working at the newspaper, Baab said. After his shift at the Herald, he would wait on papers so he could start his delivery route on the way home.
“That was one way to make a little extra money,” Baab said.
Ludwick, who became the executive sports editor after the two papers merged, retired in 1991. In a 1999 Augusta Chronicle article he
said his biggest achievements were getting married, covering the 1981 Sugar Bowl game won by Georgia and covering the 1984 British Open.
“Al was a great sports writer, sports editor and friend,” said Chronicle golf writer David Westin, who was hired by Ludwick in 1978. “We played a lot of golf together at The Patch and I don’t remember ever beating him.
“He loved covering the Masters and he was highly respected by all the golfers. I remember being invited to his house when I first started working for him and seeing a framed letter on the wall that he’d received complimenting him on one of his Masters stories. It was from Ben Hogan.”
Don Rhodes, Morris Communications publications editor, worked for years in the newsroom with Ludwick. Rhodes said he was not only a great person, but he was also a great storyteller, writer and musician.
“I heard him play his trombone many times with various bands around town, including with the Augusta Symphony and the Augusta Concert Band,” Rhodes said.
“He almost always was smiling or laughing when you talked with him.”