The NFL lost one of its first all-time greats of the Super Bowl era on Sunday. Bart Starr, who led the Green Bay Packers under the guidance of Vince Lombardi, has passed away at the age of 85.
The Packers organization released a statement on Sunday morning, mourning the passing of their Hall of Fame quarterback. Starr suffered a stroke in 2014 and had been in poor health ever since.
Starr, 85, played for the Packers from 1956 to 1971, and was beloved by fans of not only his generation, but also succeeding ones. Along with being a Pro Football Hall of Famer and among a small pantheon of Packers’ all-time greats, he was the franchise’s nonpareil role model in the eyes of many.
Maybe the most popular player in Packers history, Starr will be eulogized for being a consummate professional, a Good Samaritan and an exemplary role model.
Among his many accolades were four Pro Bowl selections, NFL MVP honors in 1966, induction into the Packers Hall of Fame, and his No. 15 jersey retired.
He was the MVP of the first Super Bowl between the Packers and Kansas City Chiefs, and would repeat the feat after beating the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl II.
But perhaps the most famous play of his NFL career came in the 1967 NFL Championship Game, also known as the Ice Bowl. On the final play of the game, with the Packers trailing by three points, Starr took the handoff on the goal line and plunged into the end zone for the now-legendary game-winning touchdown.
After retiring in 1971, Starr went into coaching. He served as head coach of the Packers from 1975 to 1983, leading them to the playoffs in the strike-shortened 1982 season.
He was a first-ballot Hall of Fame inductee, entering the Hall in 1977.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Starr's family and loved ones.