Len Dawson, a Super Bowl champion and Hall of Fame quarterback who spent most of his career with the Kansas City Chiefs, has died at age 87.
“My family and I are heartbroken,” Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said in a statement Wednesday.
“Len Dawson is synonymous with the Kansas City Chiefs. Len embraced and came to embody Kansas City and the people that call it home. You would be hard-pressed to find a player who had a bigger impact in shaping the organization as we know it today than Len Dawson did.”
A cause of death was not released for Dawson, who was confirmed to be in hospice care earlier this month by his wife, Linda. He had battled health issues including prostate cancer and a quadruple heart bypass surgery, according to ESPN.
Dawson won Super Bowl IV with the Chiefs in 1970 and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player after passing for 142 yards and a touchdown. The championship marked the first Super Bowl title in Chiefs history.
He later provided analysis as the color commentator for the Chiefs radio broadcasts from 1985 to 2017, and also worked as the sports director of the TV station KMBC in Kansas City.
“I admired Len my entire life — first as a Hall of Fame player on the field, and later as he transitioned into a successful broadcasting career,” Hunt said. “Throughout his remarkable career, Len made it a priority to give back to the community that he loved. The franchise has lost a true legend.”
Dawson was a first-round pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1957, and also played for the Cleveland Browns before joining the Dallas Texans of the then-American Football League in 1962. The Texans moved to Kansas City and became the Chiefs the following year.
The AFL merged with the NFL after the 1966 season, but the leagues played separate schedules for their regular seasons until 1970. Dawson won three AFL titles with the Chiefs organization in 1962, 1966 and 1969.
The six-time AFL All-Star and one-time NFL Pro Bowler passed for 28,711 yards and 239 touchdowns across 19 professional seasons, 14 of which he spent with the Chiefs.
Dawson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a player in 1987, then as a broadcaster in 2012. His No. 16 is retired by the Chiefs, who inducted him into the team’s Hall of Fame in 1979.
Source: Berkshire mont