Guilford County’s longtime sheriff dead at 99

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Paul Hill Gibson

GREENSBORO, N.C. — A man who was sheriff of Guilford County for 16 years died Sunday.

Paul Hill Gibson was 99.

A Democrat, Gibson won election for sheriff in 1966. He held onto the seat for 16 years, before one of his lieutenants, Jim Proffitt, defeated him in the 1982 primary.

Gibson built support with his country, folksy charm, calling everybody “Podnah” because he knew he couldn’t remember everybody’s names, he often joked.

He left the U.S. Army and joined the department in 1945. It was a less-than-professional department. One deputy was responsible for patrolling the entire county. The budget was thin, and deputies had to buy their own sirens for cars.

Read more: Greensboro News & Record