Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Area leaders share thoughts, memories of Lee Roy Selmon

From public officials to business figures and pastors, Lee Roy Selmon made an impact on the memories of Tampa Bay's leaders. Here are some of their reflections on Selmon's life:

Linda McEwen, widow of influential Tampa Tribune sports journalist Tom McEwen:

It was McEwen who pressed Selmon's case for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. And it was Selmon who helped deliver the eulogy at Tom McEwen's funeral in June. Selmon came to visit Tom McEwen when McEwen was ill, and they joked about the days of the winless Bucs.

"They always had a laugh after the 0-26," she said.

Former Tampa Mayor Dick Greco:

"He did a lot of things quietly nobody knows anything about. … He did a lot of things for children, and kids who were sick. I think he realized, when you become a great player or somebody who is well known or something like that, you can't do that without people."

Jeffrey Singletary, pastor at Central Tampa Baptist Church, which Selmon attended:

Selmon had a behind-the-scenes devotion to simply helping out, whether it was talking to the men's group, mentoring those in the young men's ministry or visiting poorer communities.

"The Bible says Moses was the humblest man that ever lived," Singletary said. "Lee Roy's somewhere there in that text, too."

Bill McBride, attorney and former gubernatorial candidate:

"He was like every man would want his father to be and want his son to be — he was perfect in both ways."

Leonard Levy, businessman who headed the franchise task force that brought the Bucs to Tampa:

"He was just a big, gentle guy — just a fine person. I saw him regularly. He was always nice, always personable. And anytime he was called upon to help you out, he'd be there. I will always cherish having known him."

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn:

"He was what athletes should strive to be. Lee Roy Selmon was a model of how athletes should live their lives — not only athletes, but all of us."

Former Tampa Mayor Sandy Freedman:

"Certainly, he made USF a better place. That program, he was there for the beginning of that – when it was just a gleam in the eye of a few people – to help it develop."

Tom Scott, former Hillsborough County Commissioner and ex-Tampa City Council member:

"Lee Roy just had a touch about him that crossed racial lines and culture lines and boundaries."

John Grant Jr., state senator who sponsored the bill to rename the Crosstown Expressway for Selmon:

"(The bill) was enthusiastically endorsed by the Legislature. It's a living and lasting tribute. … Lee Roy was everybody's friend."

Compiled by staff writers Dan Sullivan, David DeCamp, Stephanie Wang and Amy Scherzer. Times researcher Shirl Kennedy contributed to this report.

Area leaders share thoughts, memories of Lee Roy Selmon 09/04/11 [Last modified: Sunday, September 4, 2011 11:58pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays waste repeated opportunities in 5-3 loss to Blue Jays

    The Heater

    TORONTO — Rays manager Kevin Cash made a case for urgency before Thursday's game, in both actions and words, making significant changes to the structure of the lineup and sincere comments about time running short.

    Trevor Plouffe of the Rays reacts as he pops out with the bases loaded in the sixth inning. [Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images]
  2. Spanish PM voices solidarity with Barcelona


    BARCELONA, Spain — Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy says his country is mourning in solidarity with the city of Barcelona and other cities in Europe that have been hit by deadly extremist attacks.

    An injured person is treated in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017 after a white van jumped the sidewalk in the historic Las Ramblas district, crashing into a summer crowd of residents and tourists and injuring several people, police said. [Associated Press]
  3. Confederate statue: Why Bucs, Lightning, Rays took a stand


    They didn't want another Charlottesville.

    Marc Rodriguez, a member of the "Florida Fight for $15" organization, stands in protest along with other activists demanding the Confederate  monument be removed from the old Hillsborough County Courthouse in Tampa. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  4. Rep. Larry Ahern gets roughed up by Clearwater City Council

    State Roundup

    It seemed innocuous enough: an "end of session report" from state Rep. Larry Ahern, R-Seminole, to the Clearwater City Council.

    Then Ahern got taken to the woodshed.

    Rep. Larry Ahern is vying for a seat on the Pinellas commission.
  5. Hillsborough County erects wooden barrier to protect Confederate monument from vandalism

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — Hillsborough County workers began constructing a wooden barrier around the base of the Confederate monument by the old county courthouse Thursday evening.

    A Hillsborough County construction crew erects a wooden barrier around the Confederate monument at the old county courthouse Thursday, out of concern about potential vandalism. [Courtesy of WTSP]