Jay Berwanger 2002 Deaths

Jay Berwanger

Age: 88

star halfback at the University of Chicago and first winner of the Heisman Trophy in 1935; first pick at the first National Football League draft in 1936; multi-talented player, he helped lead the Maroons when they were part of the Big Ten; not sure what to do with his Downtown Athletic Club Award (renamed Heisman in 1936) he gave it to his aunt, who reportedly used it as a doorstop for years (it's now kept by his alma mater); sculpture on Heisman Trophy is based on a photo of him; drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles, but Bears coach George Halas bought his rights; his asking price of $25,000 over two seasons was too much and he never signed a contract, instead taking a job as a foam-rubber salesman; inducted into College Football Hall of Fame in 1954. He died of lung cancer.

Died: Oak Brook, Ill., June 26

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2002 Deaths: A - F