ATHENS — Billy Dilworth, a veteran journalist whose career touched newspapers, radio and television stations in Georgia and South Carolina, has died, a coroner said Friday. He was 80.
Habersham County Coroner Kasey McEntire told The Associated Press that Dilworth died in northeast Georgia. Dilworth’s wife, Joyce, told the Athens Banner-Herald that her husband had been sick for the past few weeks.
University of Georgia officials said Dilworth graduated from the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication in 1959. He had worked for the Anderson Independent in South Carolina, the Atlanta Times, The Athens Daily News and announced his retirement from University of Georgia’s WNEG-TV in 2010.
Dilworth, a country music fan, also hosted radio shows in north Georgia and moved to television, hosting “The Billy Dilworth Show” between 1985 and 1995.
“Regardless of all the people like George Jones, Elvis Presley that he interviewed to the people of little means, he treated you with dignity and respect,” the Athens-Banner Herald quoted Stephens County Sheriff Randy Shirley as saying.
“I don’t know if I know anybody in any area of the country that had more friends than Billy had in Northeast Georgia and western South Carolina,” country music artist Bill Anderson told the newspaper.
Dilworth’s funeral is set for Sunday at Allens United Methodist Church on Highway 106 in Carnesville. Strickland Funeral Home of Lavonia is handling the service.