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Len Dawson, Chiefs Legendary Hall of Fame QB, Enters Hospice Care

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVAugust 13, 2022

AP Photo/Colin E. Braley, File

Legendary Kansas City Chiefs quarterback and Pro Football Hall of Famer Len Dawson has entered hospice care at the age of 87.

According to the Associated Press, Dawson's wife, Linda, confirmed the news to KMBC-TV in Kansas City, Missouri.

Dawson was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1991, but he continued to work in broadcasting for several years after that, appearing on HBO's Inside the NFL until 2001 and serving as the Chiefs' radio color analyst through 2017.

He is best known for leading the Chiefs to their first Super Bowl victory and being named Super Bowl MVP in Kansas City's 23-7 triumph over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV.

Until the arrival of Patrick Mahomes, no quarterback in Chiefs history came close to reaching the heights that Dawson did during his time with the organization.

After a productive collegiate career at Purdue, the Pittsburgh Steelers made Dawson the No. 5 overall pick in the 1957 NFL draft. Dawson barely played in three seasons with the Steelers, leading them to trade him to the Cleveland Browns.

Dawson played sparingly in two seasons with the Browns and ultimately signed with the AFL's Dallas Texans in 1962.

The Texans, who moved to Kansas City and became the Chiefs in 1963, helped Dawson realize his potential, as he led them to an AFL championship in 1962 en route to being named AFL MVP.

Dawson threw 29 touchdown passes in 1962, which was the second-highest total of his career behind the 30 he threw two years later.

In addition to being a six-time AFL All-Star and four-time AFL passing touchdown leader, Dawson led the Chiefs organization to three AFL titles in all.

Winning the 1966 AFL Championship earned the Chiefs a spot in Super Bowl I, where they fell 35-10 to the Green Bay Packers, but they got back to the big game three years later.

Dawson completed 12 of 17 passes for 142 yards, one touchdown and one interception in Kansas City's easy Super Bowl IV win over Minnesota, making the Chiefs only the second AFL team to win a Super Bowl.

That would also prove to be the Chiefs' only Super Bowl win until 50 years later when Mahomes led KC to its second championship.

Dawson spent the final 14 seasons of his career with the Chiefs from 1962 through 1975, and he ended his 19-year career in pro football with 28,711 passing yards, 239 touchdowns and 183 interceptions.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame immortalized Dawson by inducting him in 1987, and he was also inducted into the Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Fame and had his No. 16 jersey retired by the organization.

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