Legendary Hall of Fame quarterback Len Dawson has passed away
Kansas City, Missouri - Len Dawson, the Hall of Fame quarterback who led the Kansas City Chiefs to their first Super Bowl victory and was named MVP, has passed away, his family confirmed Wednesday.
The 87-year-old was recently put into hospice care due to his deteriorating health.
"With wife Linda at his side, it is with much sadness that we inform you of the passing of our beloved Len Dawson," the Dawson family said.
"He was a wonderful husband, father, brother and friend. Len was always grateful and many times overwhelmed by the countless bonds he made during his football and broadcast careers," the Dawson family added.
As one of the most illustrious players in the NFL, Dawson's list of on and off-field achievements are comparable to none.
In addition to being named a Super Bowl MVP, Dawson was a three-time AFL Champion, two-time AFL MVP, and the 1973 NFL Man of the Year recipient.
Following his playing accolades, Dawson achieved an award-winning career as a sports broadcaster and host for television and radio, most notably for KMBC and HBO's Inside the NFL.
He was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame as both a player and broadcaster.
Tributes for Len Dawson poured in on social media
Before current Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes became the team's sensation, producing jaw-dropping numbers and leading the Chiefs to their second ever Super Bowl victory, there was Dawson who paved the way in the same position.
"RIP to the legend Len Dawson," Mahomes tweeted. "The legacy and impact you made on Kansas City will live on forever. Prayers to his family."
Upon hearing the news, Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said he was "heartbroken" over Dawson's death.
"I admired Len my entire life – first as a Hall of Fame player on the field, and later as he transitioned into a successful broadcasting career," Hunt expressed in a statement.
"Throughout his remarkable career, Len made it a priority to give back to the community that he loved. The franchise has lost a true legend. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Linda and his family."
Dawson became the heart and soul of the Kansas City Chiefs during his glorious 14-year franchise career, and as one of the game's most elite passers, made the team one of the most successful in the league.
The strong-armed quarterback still holds franchise career records for pass attempts (3,696), completions (2,115), passing yards (28,507), and touchdowns (237). His 158 regular season games starting for the Chiefs still holds the record for the most of any quarterback in Kansas City history.
In 1987, Dawson's No. 16 jersey number was retired, and to date, no Chief's player is allowed to use Dawson's number on the field.
Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire &/ Screenshot / Twitter / PatrickMahomes