Legendary Packers Running Back Paul Hornung Dead At 84

Green Bay Packers legend Paul Hornung died Friday at his home in Louisville, Ky., according to the Louisville Sports Commission. He was 84.

Hornung had been suffering from dementia.

His Hall-of-Fame career began at Notre Dame, where he won the 1956 Heisman Trophy as a quarterback. He was even better as a halfback and fullback with the Green Bay Packers, who selected Hornung as the No. 1 overall draft pick in 1957.

Hornung played nine years under legendary coach Vince Lombardi and alongside quarterback Bart Starr. He was also a member of the 1966 Packers team that finished 12-2 and defeated the Kansas City Chiefs in the first Super Bowl.

But that was at the very end of Hornung’s career, and he missed that game with an injured neck. He was picked by the New Orleans Saints in the expansion draft after the season. Soon thereafter, he opted for retirement.

Hornung did have one hiccup in his career, getting suspended for the entire 1963 season for betting on NFL games. As part of his return to the league, he had to agree to avoid Las Vegas and the Kentucky Derby entirely.

Hornung finished his career with 3,711 rushing yards and 50 rushing touchdowns. He was a two-time All-NFL pick and was named league MVP in 1961. Lombardi himself once referred to Hornung as the “most versatile man ever to play the game.”

Hornung was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986.

Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico spent 15 years covering the NBA for Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and NBA.com, along with a few other spots, and currently runs his own basketball website on the side, FortyEightMinutes.com.

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  1. RIP, Paul. I was tailgating with friends before a Monday nighter years ago — the 49ers were in GB. Paul Hornung, with a small entourage in tow, comes sauntering down the street. He’s chatting people up, taking pictures, shaking hands, etc. A great memory, one which is sadly seen less and less today — even before COVID took a dump on 2020.

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