Paul Hornung, the golden boy who played for Notre Dame in the 1950s and the Green Bay Packers in the 1960s, died at the age of 84, said the Louisville Sports Commission Friday.
Hornung, born on the 23rd. December 1935 in Louisville, Kentucky, is one of seven players to win the Heisman Cup and receive the MVP NFL title from The Associated Press. The others were Lamar Jackson, Cam Newton, Barry Sanders, Marcus Allen, Earl Campbell and O.J. Simpson.
The entire family of the Football Hall of Fame mourns the loss of Paul Hornang, says David Baker, president and general manager of the Hall in Canton, Ohio. He was a great player and an incredible man. Known as the Golden Boy, Paul was first and foremost the leader the Packers were looking for in the big games – especially during the dynasty of the team under coach Vince Lombardi in the sixties.
We will preserve his legacy forever to inspire future generations. The flag of the Hall of Fame is hoisted in memory of Paul.
Hornung won Heisman in 1956 and played for Notre Dame 2-8. After becoming the only player to win the prize in a shoot-out with a lower team, Hornung led the fight with the Irish, rushing through goals, kicks, bets and away games. In defense, he led the team in broken passes and was second for grenades and interceptions.
Hornung was selected by the No. 1 Packers in the design of the 1957 NFL, the first of nine future Halls of Surname selected that same year. Hornung, along with other packaging stars such as Bart Starr, Jim Taylor and Jerry Kramer and the innovative coach of Lombardi, led the fight for the NFL title in 1960 and lost to the Eagles 17-13.
In that 1960 season, the star of the running back scored 176 points – through touchdowns, field goals and extra points – a score that lasted 46 years. Hornung was named the first all-pro team of the season, an honor he renewed the following year, as well as an NFL MVP for leading the Packers to the first of four titles they won during his time with the team.
In midfield he may be just a little better than the average player, Lombardi once said, but on the 20-yard line he’s one of the best I’ve ever seen. He can feel that goal line.
Fault! The file name is not specified. Paul Hornung won the 1956 Heisman Cup in Notre Dame and the MVP NFL award in 1961 with Team Packers and played in four championship teams (1961, 62, 65, 66). Focus on the sports/images of Getty
LaDiner Tomlinson broke Hornung’s record in 2006 with 186 points in 31 touchdowns – although Hornung noted that his record was set in 12 games, while Tomlinson needed 16.
Hornung almost missed the Puckers’ title game in 1961 when he was drafted into the army, but a call from Lombardi to President John F. Kennedy led to Hornung’s suspension.
According to Kennedy, who organises a party, Paul Hornung will not win the war on Sunday, but the football fans in this country deserve the two best teams on the field on that day.
Hornung scored 19 points – a record result at the time – in a hurried touchdown, three field goals and four PET’s in the Packers’ 37-0 win from the New York Giants.
Apparently, the Packers have lost another legend, said Packers coach Matt LaFleur Friday. It’s four in a year with him, [Herb] Adderley, Willie Wood and Willie Davis, so every time you lose a legend like that, it’s always a sad day. They are the main reason why Green Bay Packers are Green Bay Packers companies. I just wanted to say that our thoughts are with his family.
LaFleur also trained for a year at Notre Dame and met the Hornung legend there.
I know how important and influential he was there, and of course his influence on the Packers’ legacy has been enormous, LaFleur said, so it’s always sad when you see those legends. It’s just a tough day for everyone who’s known these guys and only their importance to this organization.
The compressed nerve in his neck, which he had at the beginning of his career, began to slow down Hornung’s work. Then a gambling scandal temporarily ended his career: He was suspended for the 1963 season by Inspector Pete Roselle, who discovered that Star Hornung and Detroit Lyons had bet Alex Carras on NFL games and were associated with famous hooligans.
Hornung was restored for the 1964 season, but his best years are behind him. He stormed for 299 yards in the 1965 NFL season, then 200 yards in nine games in 1966 when the Packers won the first Super Bowl, although Hornung did not play that game.
He was selected by New Orleans for the 1967 expansion project, which was a heartbreaking moment for Lombardi. But Hornung never played for the saints, he quit. Hornung ended his nine-year career with 760 points in 62 touchdowns, 66 field goals and 190 extra points and led the NFL in goals scored for three seasons from 1959 to 1961.
Paul was a friend, and we were deeply saddened to learn of his death, said National Football Foundation President Archie Manning and College Football Hall of Fame Fellow Hornung. I always enjoyed being with him and listening to the stories of Lombardi and Packers. He was an important figure in football school and left a lasting legacy to Notre Dame. RIP NO. 5. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, your family, friends and those who touched you during your days in South Bend, Green Bay and your favorite Louisville.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Hornung has impressed an entire generation of NFL fans with his versatility, athleticism and personality. Goodell added that Hornung has played an important role in the growth of the Packers’ popularity and the National Football League.
After a career in which he was the only player in NFL history to score 50 touchdowns and 50 field goals and earn a spot in the Professional and Student Football Hall of Fame, he often appeared on television football shows and worked for CBS alongside legends like Lindsay Nelson and Vin Scully.
In July 2016, Hornung sued equipment manufacturer Riddell Inc., claiming that the football helmets he wore during his professional career could not protect him from brain damage. Hornung suffered several concussions among the packers and was diagnosed with dementia according to the study.
Hornung is survived by his wife Angela, 41 years old. Because of the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus, a private funeral is held at St. Louis Bertrand Church in Louisville. A public celebration of his life will take place later, the Packers said.
Rob Demovsky of ESPN and The Associated Press have contributed to this report.