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Kentucky Living’s Byron Crawford named “2017 Distinguished Rural Kentuckian”


LOUISVILLE — Legendary newspaper columnist, author, television and radio host, and writer of the “back page” for Kentucky Living, Byron Crawford was honored as the “2017 Distinguished Rural Kentuckian” at the 71st Annual Meeting of the Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives (KAEC). The award is the highest honor bestowed by Kentucky’s electric cooperatives, which consists of 24 local, member-owned cooperatives.

Described as “Kentucky’s Storyteller,” Byron Crawford is a legendary Kentucky newspaper columnist, radio and television news anchor and reporter, and celebrated author. Byron career includes nearly thirty years at the helm of the “Kentucky Column” of the Louisville Courier-Journal. Crawford worked in radio news at WAKY-AM, WCKY-AM and WHAS-AM, and as a feature reporter and host for WHAS-TV, KET and on his syndicated “Sideroads” program. For the last eight years, he has authored the backpage column in Kentucky Living magazine.

Click here to read Byron Crawford’s backpage columns in Kentucky Living.

“I’m certainly ‘rural’ as you know, and I’m certainly a Kentuckian,” Crawford said of award. “The ‘distinguished’ part I’m not so sure about that. But, it’s a great honor for me to be chosen and especially knowing some of those who have been chosen in the past. I feel really honored by it and humbled by it.”

‘Kentucky’s Storyteller’ Byron Crawford speaks to 71st Annual Meeting of Kentucky Association of Electric Cooperatives after the group recognized him as 2017 Distinguished Rural Kentuckian. Photo by Tim Webb

“I’ve taken it seriously,” Crawford said of the more than 5,000 stories he has filed in his career. “When people shared their personal, family, heartfelt stories with me, I’ve taken it personally that I need to really tell that story authentically, that it’s not up to me to color it up. That it’s not up to me to make it better or worse than it is. It’s just up to me to tell it the way they intended it to be told.”

About the Distinguished Rural Kentuckian Award:

Since 1982, the Distinguished Rural Kentuckian honor has been awarded by Kentucky’s member-owned electric cooperatives. Previous Distinguished Rural Kentuckians include elected leaders, authors, journalists, business executives, physicians, and sports champions. The award recognizes outstanding individuals who have devoted their lives to Kentucky in a way that matches the co-op mission of enhancing the quality of life here.

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