Report: Hall of Famer Len Dawson has entered hospice care in Kansas City

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Hall of Fame quarterback Len Dawson has entered hospice care in Kansas City, KMBC-TV reports through his wife, Linda. Dawson is 87.

He led the Chiefs to their first Super Bowl title in 1969, winning MVP honors of Super Bowl IV in the team’s 23-7 victory over the Vikings.

Dawson earned induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987, and he received the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award in 2012.

The Steelers made Dawson the fifth overall selection in 1957, but in three seasons with Pittsburgh and two with Cleveland, Dawson started only two games. He joined the Dallas Texans of the American Football League in 1962, reuniting with former Purdue assistant coach Hank Stram.

Dawson moved with the team to Kansas City the following season and remained the Chiefs’ starting quarterback until retiring in 1975.

Dawson later become KMBC’s first sports anchor and served as a game analyst for NBC and the Chiefs’ radio network. He also once hosted HBO’s “Inside the NFL” show.

34 responses to “Report: Hall of Famer Len Dawson has entered hospice care in Kansas City

  1. One of the greats for sure! Rest easy brother!! Thank you for helping to develop this sport and help turn it in to what is is today. Go Chiefs!

  2. Len Dawson was a smoker during his NFL career. There’s a famous pic of him toking on a cig at half time of SB I, a bottle of Fresca on the ground between his legs.

  3. I literally just said to my wife yesterday “I bet Lenny is not doing well” because in KC we haven’t seen or heard from him for the past several years. Even after we won the Super Bowl you never heard from him. My thoughts and prayers are with him and his entire family and friends.

  4. This was a great man for any era. A full and great man/player/analyst. He was great doing color on NFL games too. He was Romo before Romo was Romo (if that makes any sense /// wink wink).

  5. Great QB. Always liked his announcing as well. Sad to hear this. Dawson has been a class act and great spokesman for the game.

  6. I barely remember him as a player, but remember him well from Inside the NFL. Loved that show, we didn’t get anything close to the coverage we get now. And it was a solid hour of football talk and highlights.
    Len was there for over 20 years… he was a great QB and is a great man.

  7. Much respect to Len. An incredible QB back in the day. Was a fan of a rival of his team, but was always amazed at his immense skills. Hate to see one of the original AFC greats pass, but I was honored to see him play. Bless you Len.

  8. The best inside the NFL host there has been imo followed by James Brown. Watched him on the sports desk for many years in KC. Matriculate your way to heaven you legend.

  9. Len and Nick Buoniconti hosted HBO’s Inside the NFL for a long time. For a while there, it was the only source of highlights from all the games.

  10. A class guy and a heck of a football player. After their 1969 Super Bowl win with Hank, Len, and company, suffering Chiefs fans had to wait for Andy Reid and Mahomes to return to the promised land.

    Bless Lenny, hope the best for him and his family.

  11. As good as Lenny Dawson was as a QB, he was even better on Inside the NFL — one of the best football shows of all time.

  12. “He also once hosted HBO’s “Inside the NFL” show.

    That sentence kind of undersells his contribution to an iconic show, before NFL media coverage was easily accessed 24/7. Dawson hosted the show from 1977 until 2001. He was literally the voice of the show for most of many people’s life.

  13. For those that don’t remember him he was great at everything he did playing the game or broadcasting.
    Famous picture of him on the bench smoking a cigarette during the super bowl.
    RIP Lenny.

  14. Len Dawson’s Purdue teammate Lamar Lundy was famously one of the Los Angeles Rams “Fearsome Foursome” in the ’60s.

    Even more interesting: Len is the seventh son of a seventh son; if memory serves, that Biblical reference was believed to prophecy great promise for that particular individual.

    He was very insightful as a radio commentator…this was also demonstrated on his HBO show with Nick Buoniconti.

    As much as anything else, he has been a great ambassador for the NFL.

    Thank you, Len.

  15. Godspeed Lenny, you were one of my first Hero’s when I was a kid. I still remember watching you play the very 1st Superbowl and making me so proud when you won Superbowl IV. Everbody loved Lenny, I still have your autographed picture you gave me when I was 10 years old.

  16. Man I loved watching Len and Nick Buontoconti in the early days of Inside the NFL on HBO as a youngster. That was what got me into football. The short highlights with the awesome music with the voice over by Harry Kalas. Man they really ran that show into the ground. Anyhow, best wishes to Len, the Dawson family and the Chiefs.

  17. I grew up watching Schottenheimer’s teams and at the end of the day it always came down to the glory days of Hank Stram and Len Dawson. It’s clearly a new golden age for Chiefs football but back in the day all we had to look back fondly on were Hank and Len, and most of us weren’t even alive to enjoy it. Rest easy Lenny.

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