No cause of death was provided, but Dawson entered hospice care last month.
Hall of Fame quarterback Len Dawson, who died Wednesday, entered hospice care earlier this month. Photo by Joel Pfieste/Wikimedia Commons
“With wife Linda at his side, it is with much sadness that we inform you of the passing of our beloved Len Dawson,” his amily said in a statement. “He was a wonderful husband, father, brother and friend.
“Len was always grateful and many times overwhelmed by the countless bonds he made during his football and broadcast careers.”
Dawson, an Alliance, Ohio, native, starred at Purdue and was the No. 5 overall pick in the 1957 NFL Draft. He spent his first three seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
He also played for the Cleveland Browns before he joined the American Football League’s Dallas Texans in 1962. That franchise then moved to Kansas City and became the Chiefs the next season.
The seven-time Pro Bowl selection, two-time All-Pro and 1962 Player of the Year also won three AFL titles. He led the league in touchdown passes four times and in quarterback rating six times.
Dawson spent a total of 14 seasons with the Texans/Chiefs franchise. He retired after the 1975 season, which he played at 40 years old.
He totaled 28,711 passing yards and 239 passing touchdowns in 211 career games.
Dawson was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987. He went on to become a sports broadcaster at KMBC-Ch. 9.
“My family and I are heartbroken,” Chiefs owner Clark Hunt said in a news release. “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. 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.”
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