Tom McEwen, the former Tampa Tribune sports editor and legendary Bay area journalist, died Sunday morning at the age of 88 after a long battle with cancer and other health challenges. McEwen was a driving force in bringing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers into existence, and in bringing three Super Bowls to the Bay area.
McEwen has long been a valued friend of the Glazer family, which purchased the Buccaneers in 1995. He campaigned for the election of Buccaneer great Lee Roy Selmon to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and he covered the team closely from its inaugural season of 1976 through his retirement in 2001. After the construction of Raymond James Stadium, the Buccaneers' new home, the street just to the south of the facility was renamed "Tom McEwen Boulevard."
As recently as February, Buccaneers Co-Chairman Bryan Glazer attended a luncheon at St. Leo University aptly entitled, "Tom McEwen: A Tampa Bay Treasure." After McEwen's death on Sunday, the Glazer family released this statement:
"Tom McEwen was a legendary difference-maker in journalism, sports, and the Tampa Bay region. Had Tom decided to dedicate his trademark smarts, gusto, and energy to something else, there would be no Buccaneers. If Tampa Bay had its own Mount Rushmore, Tom McEwen would be etched on it. Thank you and rest in peace, friend."