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Legendary Packer Bart Starr Passes Away at Age 85

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Legendary Packer Bart Starr Passes Away at Age 85

Heartbreaking news out of Green Bay today, as the Packers announced that legendary Packers quarterback and coach Bart Starr passed away today at the age of 85.

The Starr family also released a statement.

The mark Starr has left on the Packers organization, the NFL and Green Bay is undeniable. Beyond his incredible Hall of Fame playing career, there has never been a better role model for young men entering the league to follow. A heartbreaking loss, but an incredible life, one that impacted so many other lives for the better.

Rest in peace, Bart. 


Tim Backes is a lifelong Packer fan and a contributor to CheeseheadTV. Follow him on Twitter @timbackes for his Packer takes, random musings and Untappd beer check-ins.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (57) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

ShanghaiKid's picture

Pour some out for a legend today boys. Rest easy #15.

GBPDAN1's picture

RIP Mr. Starr, we love you

Gort's picture

Why would anyone give even 1/2 dislike to a tribute to Bart Starr?
Suggest that cheeseheadtv staff find out who did that and provide the appropriate feedback.

After I wrote the above, I saw a few other dislikes. To the "Haters" please stop and show some respect.

GBPDAN1's picture

Gort, I also was troubled by the .5 dislike . How can anyone disapprove of a tribute to one of the greatest men, and one of the Greatest Packers of all time?

Bart Starr was such a remarkable human being. I look up to him so much. If this world had more people like Bart Starr, we'd be living in a better place.

Old School's picture

My childhood hero. Got his autograph when I was 11 and it’s in a frame on the wall right now. Great leader, great human.

packergal's picture

Hi Old School,

I know how you feel.

Still have a letter he wrote to me in response to one I sent him.

Guam's picture

Also have his autograph, but on a cast that was on my left arm which I broke playing football as a youngster. He and three other Packers (Ron Kramer, Fuzzy Thurston and Jerry Kramer) were gracious enough to sign my cast while dining in a Milwaukee area restaurant. Mr. Starr asked about my arm and joked that he hoped it wouldn't stop me from playing football. A treasured, lifetime memory for a devoted Packer fan.

Farewell Bart Starr - you lived a life, in and out of football, that was a shining example to all of us.

Tom Legener's picture

He was my first sports hero. When I was a boy in 1969 we sent him a Christmas card. He sent us back a handwritten note and autographed picture.
He was a legendary quarterback, but even a better human being.

RIP Bart Starr

Spock's picture

Ditto: my first sports hero and an extraordinary human being. Truly a legend.

Lphill's picture

RIP Bart , a true gentleman and Packer a legend among men. My first book report in school was Bart Starr , growing up in NY with the Lombardi Packers I was in awe seeing Bart Starr and others in sports illustrated ,will always be a wonderful memory.

Nick Perry's picture

Thank you for all the years being a true champion on and off the field. Just watching you ride out on the field with your wife Cherry the night they retired Brett Favre's number brings a tear to my eye. Right to the end you were such an unselfish man.

Rest in peace Mr. Starr. What a great man!

IceBowl's picture

The world loses people every day, but this was a great man. He was a class act in every regard. Kind, benevolent, professional, loyal, and a great leader.

So lucky I was able to watch him lead the Pack. And lead he did.


hobowilly's picture

Yes, we were all not looking forward to losing our "Starr" as he lead by example all the good things in life. I'm reminded of two equally great men we've lost in recent years, John Wooden and Arnold Palmer--what virtuous men to pattern one's life behind. These are giants in their respective sports who touched many, many lives beyond their respectives fields of competition. Each went well beyond their known successes with great fortitude, sharing their graceful humility in a very loving way! Player, coach and gentleman, Bart Starr's memory will shine brightly forever!

4thand1's picture

RIP BART, classiest player ever and a better human being there never was.

wildbill's picture

My all-time favorite Packer and a boyhood hero of mine. Heaven got the best of this trade.

Mojo's picture

One of my all-time favorites too.

One of a hand-full of people who put GB on the map.

Clutch classy man.

Considering what he and Cherry and his family went through the past few years, this might be for the best.

"Goodnight, sweet prince/and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest"

jeremyjjbrown's picture

One guy who truly made the world a better place.

Bye Bart.

Lare's picture

Bart's Rawhide Boys Ranch has helped improve the lives of hundreds, if not thousands, of young individuals. There's a special place in heaven for people like Bart Starr.

cheesehead1's picture

He was the reason I started following the Packers as we shared the same first name. Such a humble and classy man, wish there were more athletes like him. Thank you Mr. Starr.

Bert's picture

Thanks for the memories Bart. You made being a Packer fan something to be proud of. RIP old friend.

Gman1976's picture

I thank God for Bart and his family for blessing so many lives. May the Lord comfort them and give them all they need at this time.

I bleed green more's picture

I was one that grew up watching Bart and the Pack. He showed his love for all. I love his quote on Lombardi going to church daily. Bart was a great man that will be missed.

Since '61's picture

A true gentleman, a consummate professional and a great, great player and Packer. An extension of Lombardi on the field and a brillant leader for the Packers.

Thank you for all of the great plays and for everything you have done for the Packers. We were proud of you then, we are proud of you now and as long as there are Green Bay Packers and their fans they will be proud of Bart Starr.

My condolences to the Starr family and the entire Packers nation on the loss of this fine man. I am forever grateful that I had the opportunity to watch him play. A treasure among my many, many sports memories. I still have your autograph among my sports memorabilia. For those of you interested in reading a biography of this great person I recommend “When Leadership Mattered” , the life of Bart Starr. Easy read and great insights into the Lombardi Packers.
Rest In Peace Bart Starr. Thanks, Since ‘61

Qoojo's picture

Such a nice man that transcended football.

Packer Dave's picture

It almost doesn't do it justice to say he was one of the most dignified people to play football.

It would do all of us well who post here to remember people like him and how he treated others when we come on here to add our two cents.

Tundraboy's picture


Gort's picture

15 thanks for Mr. Starr.

Samson's picture

The very best of a long list of Packer Greats from the 60's. -- Went to many games in GB to see Hornung, Taylor, Max, Dowler ...... on so on. ---- But the one player everyone related to the most was Bart.

There's a special place in the next world reserved just for him.

Since '61's picture

I’m confident that he is already making the next world a better place. Thanks, Since ‘61

Swisch's picture

So much more to being a champion quarterback than throwing the football (although Bart made himself into an excellent passer, and 1966 MVP).
So much more to greatness than excelling at sports.
God bless you for all eternity, Bart Starr, and your family and friends, as well as all your fans.
Heaven is the end zone, and ultimate triumph. May God bring us all there, even if it's with a final Hail Mary!

Pack12's picture

My all-time favorite Packer and player. He was a big part of my youth. I wrote him a letter in 1983 when he was fired as coach and much to my surprise he took the time to write me back. Had the chance to meet and talk with him on several occasions. Never rushed me and even introduced me to his wife. He exemplified everything that is good in a man. This one really hurt. RIP #15 you will live forever in my heart and mind. Thanks for all the great memories.

Pack88's picture

RIP Bart: His signed picture still hangs on my wall! I got in 1967 and have treasured it ever since! Will never forget the last two titles when the Offense looked soo old in 1966 and so frozen in 1967.

Just proves the point about the size of the fight in the dog!! How many "Great QB's" of the modern era could have walked out on that brutally frozen field having been sacked 8 times and drive the team down for the winning score!! I suspect not many

DE Cooke

Big Moe's picture

RIP, may your family find comfort in thier time of grief.

PyschoDad3's picture

My earliest memories of Bart Starr were the Packers in the 1966 title game against Dallas, and although not remembered like the one the following year, every bit as exciting. The following season, the Packers were back again. I'll never forget #15 throwing a TD pass as the voice of the Packers Ray Scott intoned " Starr, to Dale, Touchdown Green Bay" on their way to dismantling the Rams and a second fateful meeting with the Cowboys in the Ice Bowl. There was no trash talk back then, just total class, and Bart Starr led the way. It made me want to be part of Packer Nation. Thanks for all the memories Mr. Starr, you will be missed.

Tundraboy's picture

Class, and a fierce warrior yet calm under pressure. RIP, to my childhood hero. I was lucky to grow up with some legends. Micky, Bart ,West led the way.

Closest I got to meet any of them was Bart. Sitting near him and in his wife at a cafe while changing planes in Atlanta.such a pretty humble man I didn't think to even go up and ask him for his autograph. I was happy enough to just have seen him.

hobowilly's picture

Mr. Tundra, now that's class.......just "happy enough to just have seen him"! I would add, what i recall Arnie's grandson said of his grandpa, "he was comfortable being who he was"; but i add folks like he, Bart Starr and John Wooden, apparently they took the time to meet many with the grandest of humility and generosity. I admire what you did, so respectful!

Tundraboy's picture

Thank you. I had a great example right in front of me,and my parents and grandparents to thank.

LambeauPlain's picture

Vince set the legacy for excellence and winning.

Bart set the legacy for class and character.

Bart embraced Vince’s principles...and Vince embraced Bart’s ability to lead early on and leaned on that class and character.

Live on in joy Bart. Enjoy Eternal Life....say hello to Vince, Forrest, Jim...etc...all those great men.

Bart_Starred's picture

My boyhood hero has passed on to heaven. I’m saddened but confident I will see him again. God Bless you Bart. May Cherry and family be comforted at this time. We love you.

Swisch's picture

It seems Bart has brought out the best in the commenters here at Cheesehead TV.
With the Packers, it's not just a bunch of playes running around on the field, but real men with unique personalities and attributes.
To get a Bart Starr to root for and remember so fondly, along with so many others from the legendary Packers of the Lombardi Era, is a great gift that brings us fans closer together.
Let's hope and pray that with our support, some of our current guys approach a similar stature in sports lore, and join Bart in a treasured place in our hearts.

Doug Niemczynski's picture

I haven't worn any Packers clothes since last year. Decided to wear my Bart Starr shirt Fri and Sat and just heard he died today. Sad day. Long live Bart Starr!! Class act.

Art's picture

As great as he was on the field he was just as great, if not, even greater off the field. Growing up in Wisconsin during the Lombardi era Bart Starr was revered. Several years ago while waiting for my plane in the Phoenix airport I recognized Bart also in the same gate area so I walked over and introduced myself. What a true gentleman, he asked me about myself and my family, talked with me as if we were old time friends. The world has lost a true great yet humble man. Thoughts and prayers to the entire Starr family.

sam1's picture

Was more than a STARR in this world! RIP MR Starr, SIR!

stockholder's picture

Love was his force. And it will Triumph over his death. The Green Bay packers were Truly blessed to have Bart Starr.

Handsback's picture

He was a great QB, gentleman, and Green Bay advocate. Mr. Ambassador for the Green Bay Packers....RIP Mr. Starr. I think God wants to know how you were able to convert so many long passes on 3rd and short opportunities.
God Bless!

D Ernie's picture

Starr was one of those rare individuals you never heard a bad word about. I` m not an original packers fan having grown up in another state but I know a class act when I see one. RIP Mr. STARR

Donster's picture

Bart Starr was my childhood hero. A great player and even greater person off the field. My condolences to the Starr family. Rest in Peace Bart Starr. I will never forget you. God Bless.

PAPackerbacker's picture

Words can not express the sadness of losing a legend like Bart Starr. He was a role model to us all. A great leader both on the field and off the field. He set a precedence in Green Bay, or anywhere else for that matter, that was a hard act to follow. A true sportsman in every sense of the word. Rest in peace Mr. Starr. You will surely be missed.

RunToWin's picture

Despite his protracted illness and the knowledge that this day would come, it is still a very difficult and sad time.

Bart Starr was simply an exemplary human being. For those of us that idolized him in our childhood, we were never disappointed or let down. We could always look to him as an example of kindness, humility, and class. We could also see much evidence that within him there was a core of steel and determination. His was a life well lived.

May he rest in peace. My condolences to his family.

the real russ letlow's picture

He is the reason I am a Packers fan. Thousands of others have the same story - fan letter responded to with a letter and an autogrpahed pic. The autographed pic hangs in my Packers Room. My hero as a player and more so as a great human being. Thank you Bart.

badaxed's picture

Bart Starr always was and always will be my hero. Thanks Bart. Rest in peace.

Slim11's picture

The following was posted on Twitter by Da Bears...

“Today we mourn with the rest of the football world. Our sincere condolences to the Packers and the Starr family.”

Lots of respect...

sam1's picture

If he lived in England he would KNIGHT STARR!

IceBowl's picture

The world loses people every day, but this was a great man. He was a class act in every regard. Kind, benevolent, professional, loyal, and a great leader.

So lucky I was able to watch him lead the Pack. And lead he did.


Swisch's picture

As I continue to read these moving memories and heartfelt tributes, I am more and more uplifted by the example of a life well lived, and by the goodness of Packers fans in the sincerity of your testimonies.
All of this has me wanting to be a better person in daily integrity and personal generosity, even if it is in ways much smaller than those of Bart Starr.
I guess this is why we have heroes -- even while recognizing their flaws, we see valor and other virtues that inspire us to improve ourselves in true goodness.
In his third season of 1959, when Vince Lombardi became coach of the Packers, Bart Starr was practically invisible as a player, without a win as a starting quarterback, underwhelming and overlooked, about to become an obscure footnote in Packers history.
As it is, no other quarterback in the history of the NFL has won five championships in seven years, or three in a row. He lost his first playoff game in the championship match of 1960, then won nine in a row through Super Bowl II for the season of 1967.
And as much as Starr's success was the result of Lombardi, it seems almost as true to say the legend of Lombardi rests largely upon a man who, while finding his voice in the huddle and unsuspected heights of athletic accomplishment, remained humble enough to put the team first -- which is the way of winning.
I hope the family of Bart Starr might pass by Cheesehead TV -- among all the other places of appreciation for him -- so as to get a glimpse of what he meant to us as average fans of the Packers, but some of the most dedicated.

Tundraboy's picture

Btw. I trust there will be no dislikes in this thread.

gregoryjones997's picture

please i have a very important message for you.Kindly reach me with this email [email protected]

Gregory Jones

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