DURHAM, North Carolina — Alwyn Louis Featherston passed away on Monday, November 5, 2018, at Duke Hospital. He was 69.
He was a sportswriter and author for five decades. He covered ACC sports, but his true love was Duke basketball … and the New York Yankees. His encyclopedic knowledge of college and Duke basketball was unsurpassed. His columns were noted for their precision and clarity wasting nary a word.
Al attended Duke University and contributed to the ACC Sports Journal, Basketball Times, Blue Ribbon Yearbooks, Duke Basketball Report, GoDuke.com and many other outlets with his main notoriety coming from years of columns and coverage at the Durham Morning Herald and Durham Sun. It would be convenient to say I worked with Al at the newspapers. I was working in the advertising department of the Herald and Sun for seven of those years, but I met him a little earlier.
By the age of 12 Al was already 6 feet tall and weighed in at about 200 pounds. That summer I was finally able to take swim lessons, having grown to 3-foot, 6-inches. My dad taught me to hit him right between the eyes, which accounted for my making it out of childhood. Though we fought constantly (translation: he beat the heck out of me), we were brothers and best friends. His intelligence was more intimidating than his size. When he missed a question in Trivial Pursuit he sent the producers a letter to correct them. They send one back apologizing. We played little league together, Duke Football Camps, and had season tickets to Duke Basketball. We drifted apart over the years when I left Carolina for Michigan.
Al had bypass surgery last winter and recovery was slowed by a recently diagnosed case of ALS. He was such a Yankee’s fan, somehow being taken by Lou Gehrig's Disease seems appropriate. He is survived by sister Libby Featherston of Southport, North Carolina, brother Richard Featherston of Seymour, Conn and me, Mark Featherston of Cadillac, Michigan.