Former Packers and Browns Defensive End passed away Wednesday
Earlier today, the Pro Football Hall Of Fame announced that Willie Davis, who played defensive end in the NFL for 12 years, passed away. The Hall of Fame’s President and CEO released the following statement about Davis:
“It is with great sadness the entire Pro Football Hall of Fame family mourns the passing of Willie Davis. Willie’s extraordinary athleticism was an undeniable factor in Green Bay’s winning tradition of the 1960s under Coach Lombardi. He helped the Packers through an unprecedented championship run and to two Super Bowl victories. Willie was a man of true character on and off the field. The Hall of Fame will forever keep his legacy alive to serve as inspiration to future generations.”David Baker, Pro Football Hall Of Fame President/CEO
Willie Davis was born in Lisbon, Louisiana on July 24th, 1934. In college, he played as both an Offensive Tackle and Defensive End at Grambling State University where he graduated in 1956.
Davis was drafted in the 15th round of the 1956 NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. However, he did not begin his NFL career until 1958 because of military service in the US Army. After moving around and playing a series of different positions with the Browns, Davis was eventually traded to the Green Bay Packers in 1960.
Davis was made a permanent Defensive End by Vince Lombardi following that trade, becoming a fixture of the 1960s Packers. Willie Davis played for Green Bay for ten years, making 134 starts in 138 regular-season games. He was also a member of all five of Vince Lombardi’s championship-winning teams.
Willie Davis played for 12 years in the NFL until retiring in 1969. During his career, he played in 162 games which includes a streak of 138 consecutive regular-season starts. He was named to five consecutive Pro Bowls from 1963 to 1967 and also earned All-Pro First Team Honors five times. He went on to be named a member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1960s. Willie Davis was later inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1981, 12 years after retiring from the NFL. Willie Davis was 85 years old.