KANSAS CITY, Mo–Hall of Fame quarterback Len Dawson has died at the age of 87.
The news comes a little more than a week since he entered hospice care.
Chiefs Kingdom is heartbroken at the passing of a true icon.
He’ll be forever remembered as “Lenny the Cool.”
“He can’t cover that thing Lenny. Throw it anytime.”
The quarterback who led the Kansas City Chiefs to its first Super Bowl championship in Super Bowl IV.
In 1962, Lamar Hunt and Hank Stram signed Len Dawson to quarterback the Dallas Texans.
The next year, the team moved to Kansas City and became the Chiefs.
Dawson still is the franchise’s all time leader in games started, touchdown passes, passing yards and pass completions.
He was named to six AFL All-Star teams and one Pro-Bowl squad.
And Dawson never forgot what Lamar Hunt did for his career.
“Lamar Hunt was very special for alot of people especially me because if he had not founded the American Football League. And hired Hank Stram as the head coach. Hank was one of my coaches at Purdue University. You wouldn’t be seeing me here in Kansas City right now. He’s the guy who provided the opportunity for so many men to play in professional football,” said Dawson.
Lamar’s son Clark is in charge of the Kansas City Chiefs now and fondly remembers Len Dawson.
“Len was my first sports hero. And he remains somebody I admired and respected his entire life. His impact on the Kansas City Chiefs. And anyone who has ever worked for the organization cannot be overstated,” said Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt.
After a 19 year playing career, Len Dawson was one of the first athletes to transition to broadcasting.
First as a sports anchor in Kansas City, then the long time host of HBO’s Inside the NFL.
Dawson was the first person ever to be inducted into the pro football Hall of Fame as both a player and broadcaster.
In 1994, Dawson was part of the first Missouri Sports Hall of Fame class that was inducted here in Springfield.
Dawson:”You look around this room and you have some outstanding. Not only outstanding players who perform, but outstanding people. It is really a compliment to be associated with people like this.”
In his later years, Dawson saw himself in a young quarterback that led the Chiefs to their second Super Bowl championship, Patrick Mahomes.
“I’ve had an opportunity to listen to what he’s saying, and how he’s saying things. He believes it in and he loves it,” said Dawson.
“I want to introduce….the greatest quarterback in pro football….Lenny Dawson.”