Green Bay Packers Icon Bart Starr Dies at 85; 1st QB to Win 5 NFL Championships

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistMay 26, 2019

FILE - In this Feb. 2, 2011 file photo, NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr smiles during an NFL football news conference in Dallas.  Bart Starr Jr. said Monday, Dec. 8, 2014 that his father is making slow, but steady progress after recently suffering two strokes, a heart attack and seizures. The 80-year-old Starr played for the Packers from 1956 to 1971.  (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)
David J. Phillip/Associated Press

The Green Bay Packers announced Sunday that legendary quarterback Bart Starr, who was named the Most Valuable Player of the first two Super Bowls, had died at the age of 85.

The Packers' official release noted Starr had "been in failing health since suffering a serious stroke in 2014." He died in Birmingham in his home state of Alabama after being born and raised in Montgomery.

After a collegiate career at the University of Alabama derailed by injuries, he slid to the 17th round of the 1956 NFL draft and was selected by Green Bay with the 200th overall pick.

It will go down as one of the best selections in draft history with Starr leading the Packers to five NFL championships. They captured the 1961, 1962 and 1965 titles before the 1966 AFL-NFL merger and then defeated the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders to begin the Super Bowl era.

"He called the right thing at the right time and he executed it," former wide receiver and Starr teammate Boyd Dowler said in the release. "He never made a bad read. He never made a stupid throw. If somebody was open, he'd get you the ball. He knew what it took to win and he went about doing it. He was a tremendous competitor and he was so consistent."

He became the first quarterback to win five championships. The record was only surpassed earlier this year when New England Patriots signal-caller Tom Brady, another draft steal as the 199th pick in the 2000 draft, captured his sixth title.

Starr's resume also features the 1966 NFL MVP Award for the regular season, a first-team All-Pro selection for the 1966 campaign and four Pro Bowl appearances.

He's a member of the Packers Hall of Fame, and his No. 15 is retired by the storied franchise. He was enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as part of its 1977 class.

Starr joined the Green Bay coaching staff after his playing career and was named head coach in 1975. He held the position through 1983, leading the team to a playoff berth in 1982.