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Hall of Famer Jack Butler dies at 85


Jack Butler, a Steelers cornerback of the 1950s who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2012, has died at the age of 85.

Butler had been suffering from a staph infection since November, stemming from a knee replacement that was necessitated by the lingering effects of the leg injury that ended his career in 1959.

His heart just stopped,” Steelers scout Mike Butler, Jack’s son, told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “He was completely lucid last night, my sister and brother made him a root beer float and he went to sleep. He never complained, never said anything hurt.”

Butler was a member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1950s, and at the time of his retirement his 52 career interceptions were the second-most in league history. He briefly worked as an assistant coach and was then a scout for nearly half a century before finally retiring for good three years ago.

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16 Responses to “Hall of Famer Jack Butler dies at 85”
  1. jcusa514 says: May 11, 2013 2:25 PM

    straight up bad ass. rest in peace. people always forget those seasons back then were 12 games. to put up numbers like that is amazing.

  2. daringanttsux says: May 11, 2013 2:25 PM

    Perry Caravello strikes again. R.I.P.

  3. kazra182 says: May 11, 2013 2:31 PM

    Rest in peace Jack Butler. One of the all time Steelers greats. #SteelersNation

  4. asimonetti88 says: May 11, 2013 2:52 PM

    If you have to go, a root beer float isn’t a bad way to top it all off. RIP Jack Butler.

  5. seaeagle707 says: May 11, 2013 2:55 PM

    Had a Brown Cow, then went to sleep. Could there ever be a better way to go? He must’ve lived a good, clean life to be so highly favored. Rest in Peace.

  6. mazblast says: May 11, 2013 2:56 PM

    I’m glad he got his due just before he died. He was a great player on some really lousy teams, the kind of player who is almost completely forgotten now.

    Those 1950s Steelers teams were legendary in their own way. The saying about them was, “You’d always beat them–and always lose the next week because you took such a pounding.”

  7. canesfan56 says: May 11, 2013 3:00 PM

    I heard him being interviewed on NFL radio after his induction. What a sharp mind and engaging personalty. Certainly no sgns of football related dementia.

  8. navyeoddavee9 says: May 11, 2013 3:10 PM

    RIP, he should have enshrined years ago, at least he lived long enough, to enjoy a year as a hall of famer

  9. citizenstrange says: May 11, 2013 3:23 PM

    R.I.P. to a very good and decent man. A bigger than life local legend to us in the Steel Valley (Munhall, Homestead and West Homestead) area.

  10. briang123 says: May 11, 2013 4:14 PM

    He died because of the effects of a leg injury suffered playing football? N someone call a trial lawyer right now.

  11. classyjacklambert says: May 11, 2013 5:07 PM

    A hell of a man and a player. We should all be so lucky to go this way, in our sleep after drinking a root beer float in a home with our kids at the age of 85. Sounds like a great end to me.

  12. scoobies05 says: May 11, 2013 5:26 PM

    my sympathies to the steeler family

  13. pitpenguinsrulez says: May 11, 2013 6:21 PM

    I may only be 20 years old but RIP Jack. Great Stiller from the 50s and I’m glad he got his dues last August into the Hall of Fame. The Root Beer Float part is heart warming because it was made by his kids and atleast he went peacefully. RIP to one of the early greats in Steeler Football

  14. navyeoddavee9 says: May 11, 2013 6:31 PM


  15. drybass says: May 11, 2013 6:53 PM

    I like how Geno Smith not grading a practice is a top story and this isn’t.

  16. Prerna S says: May 15, 2013 5:45 AM

    My condolences to Butler’s family members. Rest in peace Jack.

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