The football world is mourning the loss of Grambling and NFL Hall of Famer, Willie Davis, who passed away at the age of 85 on Wednesday.
The news was first reported by the Green Bay Packers, who Davis starred for 10 of his 12 seasons in the National Football League.
Before Davis played professionally, he was a member of Grambling’s football team. During his time at GSU, he won the 1955 Black National Championship. He also earned the title of All-American during his playing days with the Tigers.
In 1956, Davis was selected in the 15th round by the Cleveland Browns in the NFL Draft.
He was a part of seven different championship teams, including winning Super Bowls I and II.
The Davis family released a statement on his passing, on Wednesday:
It is with sadness that we announce that our family patriarch, Willie D. Davis passed away in his sleep this morning after an extended illness. He was probably best known as the premier Hall of Fame defensive end and team captain for the dominating Lombardi era Green Bay Packers of the 1960s, but he was much more. He was a trailblazer in the world of business, as adept in the boardroom of the numerous Fortune 500 corporations on who’s boards of directors he served as he was on the gridiron.
His later passion was radio broadcasting, becoming one of the first Black Americans to own a Class A radio broadcasting license. A graduate of Grambling University, he was a proud brother of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. He also earned an MBA from the University of Chicago as well as numerous honorary degrees. He would undoubtedly agree that his greatest achievement was his family.
He was adored by his wife, Carol, his children Duane (Inge) and Lori, grandchildren David, Wyatt, Harley and Hayden as well as his brothers and sisters and a host of family and friends. Funeral services will be private, but a future, public celebration of his incredible life is planned. The family is requesting privacy at this time.