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Jim Taylor, iconic member of Lombardi-era Packers, passes away at 83

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Jim Taylor, iconic member of Lombardi-era Packers, passes away at 83

-- Jim Taylor, one of the most iconic members of the Vince Lombardi-era Green Bay Packers, passed away "unexpectedly" Saturday morning at the age of 83.

Taylor, a member of the Packers Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame, played in Green Bay for nine seasons and amassed 8,207 yards during his career with the team. He averaged 4.5 yards per carry and held the team's single-season rushing record for 43 years.

"The Green Bay Packers family was saddened to learn of Jim Taylor's passing this morning," team President and CEO Mark Murphy said on Saturday, according to a release from the team. "He was a gritty, classic player on the Lombardi teams and a key figure of those great championship runs."

Taylor was the Packers' starting fullback on six of Lombardi's seven championship teams and finished his career in Green Bay as the NFL's second all-time leading rusher. 

Taylor also rushed for over 1,000 yards in five of his nine seasons with the Packers, doing so all consecutively. In each of those years, he never had fewer than nine rushing scores by season's end.

"One of the best runners of his era, he later was beloved by multiple generations of Packers fans," Murphy said. "He returned many times to Lambeau Field with his fellow alumni. Jim always looked like he could still play."

On top of Taylor's many accolades, including three First-team All-Pro designations, an NFL MVP award and being a member of the NFL's 1960s All-Decade Team, Taylor was a loving husband to Helen and an influential figure, forever embedded in the league's lore.


Zachary Jacobson is a staff writer/reporter for Cheesehead TV. He's the voice of The Leap on iTunes and can be heard on The Scoop KLGR 1490 AM every Saturday morning. He's also a contributor on the Pack-A-Day Podcast. He can be found on Twitter via @ZachAJacobson or contacted through email at [email protected].

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (17) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

I bleed green more's picture

One of my favorite players growing up. I have his Topps card brings back memories.

PAPackerbacker's picture

RIP Mr. Taylor. You were a legend of the game. You were the epitome of the NFL and Packers organization. A true leader and warrior in the game of football. You will be sadly missed but never forgotten.

Starr1531's picture

RIP Jim Taylor, I grew up watching Starr, Hornung, Gregg, Kramer, Nitschke, Davis,Adderly, those were real football players. Taylor was a true fullback and was the reason of Run to Daylight book and Packers sweep of old. He will always be one of my favorite Packers. I would also day congratulations to Jerry Kramer for finally making the Hall of Fame, should have been put in years ago.

Tundraboy's picture

One of my heros. Legendary Packer. One of the greatest RBs ever, in a tough era filled with legends, my favorite. As tough as Nitschke was on D,Taylor was on O.

Bert's picture

RIP to my boyhood hero. Loved the way he played football. Rough! The rougher the defense played the rougher he played. His duels with Sam Huff were epic. He autographed a jersey for me a couple of years ago in Green Bay. What a great Packer!!!!

Skip greenBayless's picture

Hearts and prayers go out to the Taylor family. I was too young to remember him but the highlights I saw of him I was and still am amazed at his incredible strength and toughness even in his later years. He's the one guy I think that could play today and be every bit as good. RIP


PackfanNY's picture

Now I am in my early 50's too young to have seen Jim Taylor play. However, I "knew" of him through my now late father who loved him as a player. Had his wall poster in our basement. Old man was Packers, Packers, Lombardi, Packers even being in New York.
A few years ago I am standing outside Lambeau with my wife and son during our now annual opening day trip to GB waiting for a Jim Taylor book autograph session in the Pro Shop. My God, I thought the old man would have passed out for this opportunity to meet the great Jim Taylor! All of a sudden I hear this lady say "Dammit Jimmy put the cigarette out, they want you inside". A few minutes on line and I realize that was Jim Taylor standing right next to us outside. I wished I was paying better attention. I told the story to him and he smiled and laughed.
RIP, Mr. Taylor. My father is waiting on the other side to meet you.

LeotisHarris's picture

That's a great story! Thanks for sharing it.

Bert's picture

Thanks for sharing that memory!


Heart felt condolences and love for the family and loved ones of Jim Taylor. Today he is no longer with us...but tomorrow he remains an immortal. Forever enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
When I heard the news I was I took a walk. As I walked I reflected on Jim Taylor and what he truly means to me. The longer I thought about it the more I was being bull rushed by an overwhelming force of pure nostalgia. Hornung began facing heavy injuries and the hurricane of doubt had reached the shore. After a long day of summer practice and a nice meal Jim Taylor heard a knock at his door. Answering he was surprised to see non other than Coach Lombardi. The interaction was brief, simple and powerful. He looked Jim in the eyes and told him this was his opportunity to reach his full potential as a player. It was his time and the Packers needed him. Lombardi shows him a newspaper article titled "Hornung future remains unknown, how do you replace Superman?". Taylor looked at Coach and told him "I am superman." And as we all know, the following season, Jim Taylor was the NFL MVP and rushing champion. A common misconception amongst football fans is that the toughest football player to ever live was Brett Favre. Although Favre's toughness is unworldly and unparalleled by anyone to ever play quarterback, he is only the third toughest football player of all time. Jim Taylor was number two. When you walk the halls of Lambeau field, you are being influenced by the spirits of football's past. Now Jim will live on forever in our hearts and our memories. We love you, Jim.

Donster's picture

Watched Jim Taylor and the great Packer teams of the early 1960's when I was a young boy. What a great player he was. Rest in Peace Jim Taylor. Prayers to his family.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

Prayers go out to the Taylor family.

Doc5159's picture


Since '61's picture

My condolences to the Taylor and Packer families. Jim Taylor was just a great Fullback, possibly the greatest of all time. He was tough as nails, loved to hit people and run over them. He never ran out of bounds to avoid contact as so many of today's players do to avoid contact.

He almost never fumbled and just pounded away for that extra yard or two. Nothing fancy with Taylor. It was just him and the defender, man against man and Taylor often won. It was a privilege to watch him play and I am grateful to have seen him at his best. RIP Jim Taylor, you will be missed. Thanks for giving us everything you had on the field. Since '61

Johnblood27's picture

My favorite Packer of the Lombardi era, Taylor was one of the very first NFL players to use weight training as a fitness tool.

He would work out between 2 a days and just drive through Lombardi's drills with a grin on his face.

Jimmy Taylor hated to finish second to anyone, even the iron will of his legendary coach.

I sure wish we had just one Jim Taylor on todays GBP, his attitude would drive the entire team to be tougher than the opponent, no matter who they were.

RIP Jimmy.

GAE's picture

Taylor & Nitcshke were my 2 favorite Packers as a kid in the late 50's/early 60's, My Dad, a La Crosse native, would always talk about Isbell & Hutson & now my kids speak of Farve & Rodgers. My two best memories are both of Taylor. One- Jim was barreling to the goal line with the only obstacle a big linebacker dead ahead. He could easily have side-stepped or straight armed him but literally went right thru him knocking him into the end zone! Two - My very favorite 'free' TV endorsement/commercial of all time: The Pack was shown in the their locker room after a championship game. All were standing or running around & had champagne bottles in their hands. There on a bench however, sitting just like your or me, drinking a can of Schmidts, was Taylor. I.E. what real men drink and Jim was the most real of any pure football player I've ever watched with the possible exception of Ray Nitchske. They epitomized the Pack. Love of contact!

Pack88's picture

As everybody else has already mentioned Taylor was among the 1st serious weight lifters in the NFL. He and the Bear Tackle (Stan Jones) from that era were widely heralded for their physiques but I wonder how many knew Taylor was just incredibly well conditioned and ran many marathons -well into his 50's. No Packer fan of that era will forget the 1962 NFL title game in savage cold and wind Taylor was the offnse. I loved watching him play and smile when people suggest guy's like Taylor couldn't play in the current era. Like Brockington, in another era he sought contact and just devastated tacklers, can you imagine him on a modern field with his power and balance- speed is overated, the physical nature of his game would cause the same 4th qtr misses today, as they did in the 60's. Obviously he joins many others in the Valhalla of Packer Greats.

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