A native of Hattiesburg, Rick Cleveland he is the most decorated sports journalist in Mississippi history. In more than 40 years as a sports editor...
...and columnist, he has won scores of state, regional and national awards for his writing and reporting, first at the Hattiesburg American and later at The Clarion-Ledger and Jackson Daily News. Now, he writes for Mississippi Today, in addition to a syndicated column that runs in 28 Mississippi newspapers. In 2011 he became the first sports writer ever to be honored with the prestigious Richard Wright Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Excellence.
From 2012 until the spring of 2016, Cleveland was the executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. He will be inducted into that Hall of Fame in August, following in the footsteps of his father, Hattiesburg native Ace Cleveland.
Cleveland, the author of four books, also received the Distinguished Mississippian Award from the Mississippi Press Association's Education Foundation in 2000. A graduate of Woodley Elementary, Thames Junior High, Hattiesburg High School and USM, Cleveland delivered the USM commencement address in 2012.
He is married to the former Liz Baxter of Hattiesburg. His son, Tyler, is a sports writer for The Clarion-Ledger, and his daughter, Annie, is a New Orleans based stage actress.