Emmett Edwards, sports authority exec, dies at 59 - WSMV Channel 4

Emmett Edwards, sports authority exec, dies at 59

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Emmett Edwards (Photo by: Metro Government of Nashville/Gary Layda) Emmett Edwards (Photo by: Metro Government of Nashville/Gary Layda)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Friends and colleagues are remembering Emmett Edwards, a long-time Tennessee public servant, who passed away Monday.

Edwards, 59, grew up in west Tennessee and was a member of his high school's first racially integrated class.

He went on to attend UT-Martin and later served as the first African-American member of the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees.

In recent years, Edwards had served Nashville as the executive director of the Metro Sports Authority.

"Emmett was likable, compassionate and had a great sense of humor. He had an unshakable sense of optimism and a love for Nashville that was apparent to all who knew him. I am thankful for his many contributions to our community, and I know he will be missed," said Mayor Karl Dean, in a written statement.

"We are thankful for his leadership, his vision, and his efforts, all of which have helped to make Nashville a great city for sports and entertainment. Our hearts go out to his family and they remain in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time," said J.D. Elliott, chairman of the Metro Sports Authority, in a written statement.

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