Hall of Famer Larry Wilson dies at 82

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The Cardinals announced the death of Pro Football Hall of Famer Larry Wilson at the age of 82 on Friday.

Wilson was a player, coach and executive for the Cardinals from 1960 until his retirement after the 2002 season. Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill called Wilson the “most influential male figure” in his life outside of his father.

“He was someone who truly lived his faith and demonstrated it daily in the kindness he showed every single person he met,” Bidwill said in a statement. “Any of us lucky enough to be in his orbit — whether that was for a few minutes or four decades — was always better off from the experience. I will remember Larry Wilson first as a fantastic person but then obviously as one of the greatest players the National Football League has ever seen.”

Wilson was a seventh-round pick in 1960 and played safety for the Cardinals through the 1972 season. He ranks 26th in NFL history with 52 interceptions and was named the NFL’s defensive player of the year in 1966. He was a six-time first-team All-Pro, a member of the league’s 75th and 100th anniversary teams and elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1978.

Wilson would go on to serve as scouting director, personnel director and General Manager after his playing days. He also did a stint as the team’s interim head coach in 1979.

Our condolences go out to Wilson’s family and loved ones on their loss.

10 responses to “Hall of Famer Larry Wilson dies at 82

  1. RIP Larry. Too young to have seen him on the field but they did put him in Madden a couple years ago, dont know if the folks at EA Sports were able to do him justice

  2. A little bit before my time, but make no mistake, he is still a legend within the Cardinals organization.

  3. Definately RIP Mr. Wilson, and huge condolences to his family and fans. He was a great one in so many ways. I’m not even a Cards fan.

  4. Sad to hear, a truly great and innovative player. The man who perfected the Safety Blitz.

  5. An absolutely fantastic player. He’s on the very short list of the best to ever play the position.

    He was more or less a guy who played FS and SS roles and was an A+ at both.


  6. He was a great player to watch. I always identified him when it was the St.Louis Cardinals. RIP

  7. RIP Larry Wilson

    He played all over the field and young fans need to see him on NFL Films, on the net … a St Louis legend.

  8. This guy was probably the toughest SOB to ever put on the uniform. Pound for pound, it’s not even close. R.I.P. Larry Wilson.

  9. I was in Junior High School in St. Louis in the early 60s. I rode my bike to a Cardinals summer practice at Washington University’s field. The Cardinals were in shorts and wore shirts and skins. I saw this one guy who looked like he had shoulder pads on and two ropes across his chest. I was informed that he was Larry Wilson. The “shoulder pads” were these corded muscles from under his ears to his shoulders and the ropes across his chest were these unbelievably defined muscles. I couldn’t believe it. I stood within 10 ft of him. and he wasn’t unusually tall or burly — in fact he was sort of lean. But, man, no way I would want to get hit by him.

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