Len Dawson, ex-quarterback who led Kansas City Chiefs to their first Super Bowl title, passed away on Wednesday. He was 87 years old. Dawson was popularly known as “Lenny the Cool” for his unmatchable swagger. Read on to know how did Len Dawson die.
Dawson was a Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee both as a player and broadcaster. His family announced the tragic news of his passing following the previous announcement of Dawson entering hospice care a week ago.
“With wife Linda at his side, it is with much sadness that we inform you of the passing of our beloved Len Dawson,” the family said in a statement in Kansas City, where Lawson used to work as a sports broadcaster.
“He was a wonderful husband, father, brother and friend. Len was always grateful and many times overwhelmed by the countless bonds he made during his football and broadcast careers.
“He loved Kansas City and no matter where his travels took him, he could not wait to return home.”
How did Len Dawson die?
Len Dawson had a venetrated and decorated career both as a player and broadcaster. He worked 33 yeard as the Chiefs’ radio color analyst and retired in 2017 due to multiple health difficulties including Prostate Cancer and quadruple heart bypass surgery.
Dawson was diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, a type of cancer typical to males and spreads in the prostate glands, in 1991. He had a long and tiresome battle with the disease before eventually passing away on Wednesday, August 24, 2022.
The legendary player was also a brave man in real life. He once teamed up with Depend in 1998 to encourage men to visit their doctors for prostate cancer’s screening.
Len Dawson entered Hospice Care on August 12, 2022
On August 12, 2022, Dawson’s family announced that he had entered hospice care at the University of Kansas Medical Centre due to his deteriorating condition. The battle with Prostate Cancer and quadruple heart bypass surgery.
Unfortunately, Dawson passed away this Wednesday by the side of his family, his second wife Linda, and her loved ones at the age of 87 years.
Len Dawson Had a Long and Decorated Career with Chiefs
Leonard Ray Dawson was born on June 20, 1935, in Alliance, Ohio. He was a highly celebrated American football quarterback who played in the NFL and AFL for 10 seasons. He was a mainstay of the Kansas City Chiefs and took them to their first Super Bowl victory in 1966.
Dawson played college football for the Purdue Boilermakers, and began his professional career with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1957. He also played for the Cleveland Browns. In 1962, Dawson left the NFL to sign with the AFL’s Chiefs which was then known as Dallas Texas.
He spent the last 14 seasons of his career with Chiefs, and rejoined the NFL after the merger of the leagues. He led the Chiefs to three AFL crowns in 1962, 1966, and 1969. In May 1976, Dawson announced his retirement just before turning 41.
His legendary AFL-NFL career included 2,136 of 3,741 passes for 28,711 yards and 239 touchdowns, with 181 interceptions. He also gained 1,293 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns in his staggering career.
Len Dawson Personal Life and Survivors
Dawson was the seventh son of a seventh son, born the ninth of 11 children overall in his family. He had been interested in sports since childhood. He was a three-sport athlete at Alliance High School, where he studied.
Dawson set several records in football and basketball which helped him get a scholarship offer from Purdue.
He married his high school sweetheart, Jackie, in 1954. The loving couple stayed married until Jackie’s death in 1978. They had two children, Lisa Anne and Len Dawson Jr.
Dawson then married his second wife, Linda Louise, who remained by her side till the quarterback went on his deathbed.
Fans & Friends paying tributes to Len Dawson
Ever since the news of Dawson’s passing emerged, social media platforms are full of tributes and rememberances for Len Dawson.
“Len Dawson is synonymous with the Kansas City Chiefs. Len embraced and came to embody Kansas City and the people that call it home. You would be hard-pressed to find a player who had a bigger impact in shaping the organization as we know it today than Len Dawson did,” said Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt.
“I admired Len my entire life — first as a Hall of Fame player on the field, and later as he transitioned into a successful broadcasting career. Throughout his remarkable career, Len made it a priority to give back to the community that he loved. The franchise has lost a true legend. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Linda and his family.”
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the departed soul and his family. He’ll forever remain in our memories.