The idea for the NSSA started in Salisbury, NC with local restaurant owner Pete DiMizio. DiMizio, who was also a boxing promoter, befriended local sports media and decided there should be some way to honor them. He started the North Carolina Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association with a banquet at his restaurant in 1953. After DiMizio’s death in 1958, a small group of Salisbury citizens continued DiMizio’s quest, and in 1959, they went national. The first National Sportscasters & Sportswriters awards program was held in Salisbury on April 12, 1960. From that program, the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association formed. The NSSA Hall of Fame was added two years later.