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Hugh Morton inducted into N.C. sports hall

By Steve Behr (

Article Published: Jan. 8, 2013 | Modified: Jan. 8, 2013
Hugh Morton inducted into N.C. sports hall

Mildred the Bear was the Grandfather Mountain mascot from 1968 to 1993. Hugh Morton
considered her among his closest friends.
Photo courtesy of Grandfather Mountain

The late Hugh Morton was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame Monday.

Morton was one of 11 new members inducted into the Hall. They will be enshrined May 2 at the Raleigh Convention Center.

Morton was one of North Carolina's most staunch conservationists. Morton turned Grandfather Mountain into one of the top locations of naturalists and tourists in the state.

One of Morton's crowning achievements was the development of the Linn Cove Viaduct. It kept the National Park Service from building 7.7 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway over Grandfather Mountain.

Morton also secured funds to construct the Swinging Bridge at Grandfather Mountain, which is a mile above sea level.

Morton was also a top photographer. His photography included photos of events in the ACC and in the Southern Conference.

Morton started his interest in photography in 1934 at age 13 when he attended a photography class. One year later, a photograph of a golf scene Morton for a North Carolina tourism ad was published in Time Magazine.

Morton volunteered for the Arm Signal Corps in 1940. While on the island of Luzon in the Philippines, Morton was assigned to take a photo of General Douglas McArthur when the general's regular photographer was ill.

Morton was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart after being wounded later in the war.

He also served as a board member and past president of the N.C. Sports Hall of Fame.

Morton died in June 2006.

Other inductees include: former North Carolina running back Kelvin Bryant, former Carolina Hurricanes hockey player Ron Francis, former fast-pitch softball pitcher Wade Garrett and former North Carolina head basketball coach, and assistant UNC coach Bill Guthridge.

More inductees include baseball player Tommy Helms, former Lenoir-Rhyne and prep football coach Marion Kirby, former Elon football standout tight end Rich McGeorge, sports writer Bob Quincy, Special Olympian Marty Sheets, and tennis player Mildred F. Southern.

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