By Wiley Henry
MEMPHIS, TN — Myron Leon Hudson spent a great deal of his adult life cultivating a career in sales. He sold encyclopedias, health insurance, and advertising for Black newspapers.
“Myron was a pleasant employee to work with. He was a welcome addition to the team at the Tribune,” said Rosetta Miller Perry, publisher of The Tennessee Tribune in Nashville.
Hudson was selling advertising for The Tennessee Tribune when he died Sept. 19 following a brief illness. He was 63.
Prior to working for the Tribune, Hudson sold classified and display advertising for The Tri-State Defender under publishers Audrey P. McGhee, Marzie G. Thomas and, in recent years, for the late Bernal E. Smith.
“Myron was a model person. He truly believed in what he was doing,” said McGhee, who published the TSD in the 1980s and ‘90s. “He was a strong individual who believed in his ideas.”
Whatever the issues of the day, Hudson would chime in with an opinion, she said. “He was vocal about them – maybe because he worked for a Black newspaper.”
Hudson’s opinions soon found their way onto the pages of the paper as “King Kool,” his alter ego. They were witty one-liners or serious reflections about the vicissitudes of life.
He’d quip about any subject and pretty much styled himself as the griot of “Kool.” But more important than his musings, Hudson spent time plying his skills as the crème de la crème in sales.
“My brother was cool, a snazzy dresser. He loved what he did in sales for a long time. He wanted to be self-sufficient,” Bobbie Hudson-Williams, a former English teacher living in Nashville, remembered.
He was a deep thinker, she added, a good person, and was very quiet, even when he was at a gathering of his large family.
Another sister, Sheila Hudson, a counselor, concurred. She went on to say that Hudson taught “me the love of football at an early age. People wanted to know why I love football so much; it’s because of him.”
Although 10 years younger, Sheila Hudson said she grew up with her brother and would join him in front of the TV eating popcorn and drinking kool-aid. “He was a great brother,” she said.
She added that her brother couldn’t tear himself away from the game when his favorite teams were playing – the Indianapolis Colts, the Tennessee Titans, the LA Dodgers, and the University of Memphis during football and basketball seasons.
The game of football was more than a pastime for Hudson. His interest never waned after quarterbacking for the football team at Booker T. Washington High School, where he graduated in 1974.
After his playing days on the gridiron, Hudson matriculated right away at the former Memphis State University and graduated in 1979 with a B.A. degree in Communications.
He grew up in the legendary Foote Homes housing project, a 46-acre tract near downtown Memphis, where nearly 400 families once called home before demolition cleared a path to new housing units.
“We all grew up in a responsible family. We were reared in a Christian home,” Hudson-Williams said. “And my brother loved his family – and we loved him too.”
Carolyn Orr-Craig, Hudson’s fiancé, acknowledged that much about his family, but added that his love for her had kindled during the three years that they were together. “I loved him as much as he loved me,” she said. “We were soulmates.”
A personal care assistant, Orr-Craig said Mr. Hudson, who was very private, had planned to “tell the whole world” of their engagement.
“That’s why it’s so hurtful,” she said.