KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) — Kansas City Chiefs legend and Pro Football Hall of Famer Len Dawson is in hospice care, a family member confirmed with FOX4 Friday.
The 87-year-old joined the Dallas Texans in 1962 and followed the franchise to Kansas City, where he led the renamed Chiefs to a championship in Super Bowl IV.
He went into the Hall of Fame as a player in 1987 and a broadcaster in 2012. Dawson served as host of HBO’s “Inside the NFL” from the late 70s until 2001.
Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt called Dawson “a part of every major moment in Chiefs history.”
Dawson’s playing career started as a standout quarterback at Purdue before he joined the Pittsburgh Steelers as a first-round draft pick. He was quickly traded to the Cleveland Browns.
In 1962, Dawson finally signed with the Dallas Texans, reuniting him with Hank Stram, who had been an assistant coach for the Boilermakers before becoming the AFL franchise’s head coach.
Dawson promptly led the Texans to the AFL title and was the league’s MVP, and then moved with the club to Kansas City the following year. He led the Chiefs to two more AFL titles in 1966 and 1969, when he came back from a serious injury to help the Chiefs beat Minnesota 23-7 for their first Super Bowl title.
He ranks among the elite forward passers of all time with an 82.56 rating compiled over 19 seasons.