Paul Hornung passes away at age 84

The Packers legend was battling dementia. 

We continue to lose Packers legends in 2020.

The Louisville Sports Commission announced on Friday that Paul Hornung has passed away at the age of 84. 

Hornung had been battling dementia, the commission said. 

"The Golden Boy" won the 1956 Heisman Trophy at Notre Dame, and the Packers selected him number one overall in the following year's NFL Draft.

"The Golden Boy" won the 1956 Heisman Trophy at Notre Dame, and the Packers selected him number one overall in the following year's NFL Draft.

The Packers great became an all-pro halfback in the 1960s who could run, pass, catch, block and kick. He was the NFL’s MVP in 1961, and he helped the Packers win NFL titles in 1961, 1962 and 1965, and was on the team that won Super Bowl I in 1967.

He was the first player selected by the New Orleans Saints in the1967 expansion draft, but never played due to injury.

Hornung is survived by his wife of 41 years, Angela Hornung.

 

2 points

Comments (19)

Fan-Friendly This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.
packerbackerjim's picture

November 13, 2020 at 12:16 pm

I’ve never seen a back get the most possible yards following his blockers. An all-around offensive weapon. Lombardi’s favorite—what else is there to say that would describe his contribution to some of the greatest teams ever. God it seems we’re losing iconic Packers in quick succession.

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Ferrari-Driver's picture

November 13, 2020 at 12:27 pm

He was a super player for the Packers who was able to run, pass, and kick for over half a decade. I watched him from the start of his career in Green Bay until he finished and he did a magnificent job near the goal line. I used to watch Taylor run the ball down the field like a wild bull and when they got near the goal line, Hornung would put it over the line. He used to be a straight on kicker so the percentage of conversions on field goals was low by today's standard, but back in the 60's he was better than most. Goal posts were at the goal line in those days but trying long field goals like we see today were not attempted. He was a fun loving guy who people enjoyed being around and was nice to fans. RIP.

8 points
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Guam's picture

November 13, 2020 at 12:35 pm

Rest in Peace Paul Hornung. Like so many Packer Fans, I loved watching you play. And reading about your misadventures with Max McGee that used to drive Lombardi nuts. You will live on in our memories.

6 points
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jannes bjornson's picture

November 13, 2020 at 01:06 pm

Great Packer and a Great Personality. I still have his autographed 8 x10 glossy from training camp in '64.
Big loss for the green and gold.

5 points
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PackfanNY's picture

November 13, 2020 at 01:50 pm

Got to meet him and get his autograph for my son a couple of year’s ago while up for a game in Green Bay. He spoke to us for a couple of minutes. Very classy. Absolute legend. RIP Paul Hornung.

4 points
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Hematite's picture

November 13, 2020 at 02:28 pm

Rest In Peace Golden Boy.
You will forever be one of my all time favorites!

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Since'61's picture

November 13, 2020 at 02:53 pm

My first favorite Packer player. I watched Paul
Hornung score 19 points against the NY Giants in the 1961 NFL Championship game. He was brilliant. I became a Packers fan watching him that day.

It wasn’t mentioned in the article but Hornung scored 176 points in a 12 game season. That’s nearly 15 points per game by one player. He was a great runner and receiver. He blocked like a guard, kicked FGs and PATs plus he could throw the option pass very effectively.

He knew how to play every position on the offense. Marv Fleming was threatened with losing his starting TE role because Lombardi was unhappy with his run blocking. Hornung spent time with Fleming to help him with his blocking. Fleming became an effective blocking TE and kept his starting role with the Packers.

Hornung also handled kickoffs for a few games and even punted in an emergency. He was a complete football player. We haven’t seen a player like him since and I’m confident that we never will again.

He was a great player and a great Packer. He will be missed. Thanks Paul for all the great plays. RIP. Since ‘61

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PeteK's picture

November 13, 2020 at 04:17 pm

The first football game I watched was SB1 and he didn't play, but the stories and highlight films are tremendous! RIP

2 points
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BAMABADGER's picture

November 13, 2020 at 04:28 pm

I remember the muddy 1965 NFL Championship season game like it was yesterday. The Pack defense (which back then knew how to tackle) held Jim Brown to 50 yards rushing. Horning and Taylor combined for 200 yds rushing. 120 yards contributed by the Golden Boy! Slip sliding away with the famed Packer sweep. God Bless you and RIP Paul Horning.

3 points
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Spanky65's picture

November 13, 2020 at 04:37 pm

I will never forget December 12, 1965

Packers 42 Colts 27 in a very crucial game when
when Hornung was truly Golden by scoring
5 Touchdowns.

He is now in Heaven with Jim Taylor, Bart Starr
and of course his long time buddy Max McGee

3 points
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Swisch's picture

November 14, 2020 at 08:38 am

So glad to read the tributes to Paul Hornung here at Cheesehead TV, and hope for more to come.
It's such a sad time with so many of the legendary Packers of the Lombardi Era leaving us of late, including the backfield of Starr, Taylor, and Hornung -- plus most recently the wondrous Herb Adderley.
I would add that according to John Eisenberg, in "That First Season," Hornung was thinking of quitting the game when Lombardi was hired to coach a team that had just come off dismal season of 1-10-1.
Hornung seemed to be a college star without a position in the NFL, not quite good enough a passer to be a quarterback as at Notre Dame, not quite fast enough for halfback, not quite powerful enough for fullback.
Here was Hornung on the most pathetic team in the remote Green Bay Packers, and still not getting much of an opportunity on the field. He was dejected about football, and considering a career in real estate.
I think it humorous that at the Los Angeles Rams, a pretty woman came up to him while he was languishing on the sidelines during the game, and Hornung took a photo with her.
Watching film, Lombardi saw that he could find a way to utilize all the talents that the commenters above have noted -- including the halfback pass.
Indeed, he coached him up into a superstar in the pattern of what he had done with Frank Gifford in his previous job as offensive coordinator with the New York Giants.
When Lombardi took over for the Packers for the 1959 season, not only was Paul Hornung a bust, but Jerry Kramer was a goof-off, Ray Nitschke was a psycho, and Bart Starr was an afterthought.
It was only three seasons later that Since '61 was admiring Hornung and the Packers romping over the Giants for the first of their five championships in seven seasons.
In the 1980s, Dick Schapp called those Packers the greatest team of all time -- not necessarily the most successful or the most talented, but the best as individuals coming together to get the most of themselves as a group.
Lombardi wasn't just a yeller. He loved his players. He treated each one uniquely to see how to get the most out of him. So may of them excelled, and loved him back, and made Lombardi look good as perhaps the greatest coach of all time.
That's how a team pulls out the Ice Bowl in 1967 under the most desperate of conditions, with a 68-yard drive in the bitter cold on the hardest of surfaces (which caused a concussion to Boyd Dowler, after a big reception, from hitting his head on the frozen tundra).
To make all this relevant, this is what the Packers need today to achieve greatness beyond their individual talents -- a team unity of loyalty, even a measure of love, that inspires sacrifices for the common good.
My dad was born thirteen days earlier than Paul Hornung; grew up in Milwaukee near Hampton and Sherman (even lighting oil lamps in the neighborhood and delivering a German-language newspaper); and died in 2012.
I was born in Columbia hospital in the city in 1962; and, alas, was too young to experience the Lombardi years personally.
Yet in later reading and viewing, I grew to love these guys and what they stood for in camaraderie and competitiveness and the quest for excellence.
After winning five championships with the Packers, Adderley would go on to win another with the glitzy Cowboys. Yet he always considered himself a Packer. Looking back, Adderley said he loved his father but didn't think about him every day; he thought about Vince Lombardi every day.
Please excuse my length, but please indulge me in my passionate hope that younger Packer fans will perhaps more fully appreciate the greatness of our heritage as Packer fans -- built on a solid foundation of goodness.
They weren't perfect as people, but generally speaking an impressive and admirable collection, as well as highly likeable.
Many of us old-timers love them as they are, the good and the bad, and pray for them heaven, the Hall-of-Fame of life. I hope to meet them there one day, and shake their hands.
Sincerely, Stephen C. Fischer
P.S. As my memory can be faulty, I'm glad for any corrections and clarifications and continuations.

6 points
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crayzpackfan's picture

November 13, 2020 at 04:59 pm

Nothing really profound to say. RIP to an amazing Packer and an amazing human being. Dammit! Some people should live forever, he’s one of them.

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Leatherhead's picture

November 13, 2020 at 06:19 pm

First Packer I ever met. He and Fuzzy Thurston signed some index cards that I have in frames in my home office. I’m looking at them right now.

3 points
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jeremyjjbrown's picture

November 13, 2020 at 08:43 pm

Rest in turf Paul.

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Stroh's picture

November 13, 2020 at 10:42 pm

RIP #5. You'll be missed.

Terrible year i Packer land. Adderley, Willie Davis, Willie Wood and now Hornung have all left us in 2020. Shockkngly, in the year of the Covid pandemic, none due to it.

Maybe the Lombardi Trophy back in GB would help them rest.

3 points
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Spanky65's picture

November 13, 2020 at 11:16 pm

I will never forget December 12, 1965

Packers 42 Colts 27 in a very crucial game when
when Hornung was truly Golden by scoring
5 Touchdowns.

He is now in Heaven with Jim Taylor, Bart Starr
and of course his long time buddy Max McGee

2 points
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JohnnyLogan's picture

November 14, 2020 at 03:13 am

If you were a kid in Milwaukee in the late '50s and early to late 60's you had a lot of heroes to worship. In summer it was Mathews and Aaron, Spahn, Burdette, Johnny Logan, Adcock, Bruton, Covington, and more. In winter, Hornung and Taylor, Starr, Nitschke, Adderly, Wood, Willie Davis, Robinson.... and of course, there was Lombardi. Lombardi said the best football player he ever coached was Forrest Gregg, but everyone knew the one he loved the most was Hornung. Boy, it was something to watch him turn the corner behind Thurston and Kramer and take into the end zone. Those were heady days, the Braves fighting it out with the big boys, beating the Yankees in '57, followed by years of Packer domination. And of all the stars, there was a period of years when Hornung's star shined the brightest. May he rest in peace.

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HighPlainsDrifter's picture

November 14, 2020 at 05:32 am

A 60 foot vinyl banner with Paul Hornung's picture hangs from the Watterson City building along I-264 at Newburg Road in Louisville, signifying Mr. Hornung's designation as a Hometown Hero.

Mr. Hornung used to record his television show at a restaurant on Hurstbourne Parkway. He had Brett Favre as a guest one show, and I went out much too late gain entry due to an overflow crowd. As I was walking back to my car, Paul arrived in a convertible with his wife and Deanna Favre. They struck an amazing image.

Mr. Hornung authored a book of Coach Lombardi remembrances, "Lombardi and Me". One day a co-worker who knew Paul personally walked into my office and presented me with an autographed and personal message copy. It remains one of my most prized possessions.

An immeasurable loss.

2 points
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