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Packers in the Pro Football Hall of Fame
The Green Bay Packers have 25 individuals in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, including Class of 2018 inductee Jerry Kramer. The Packers’ total is second only to that of the Chicago Bears, who have 28 enshrinees. The Pittsburgh Steelers (21) and New York Giants (20) are next, followed by the Washington Redskins (19) and Los Angeles Rams (18).
In addition, five other players who played briefly for Green Bay defensive end Len Ford, linebacker Ted Hendricks, guard/coach Walt Kiesling, kicker Jan Stenerud and safety Emlen Tunnell have their busts displayed in the Hall of Fame. Biographies of the Packers’ HOF inductees follow:
1963 Earl L. (Curly) Lambeau
Co founded the Packers in 1919 and served as team’s head coach through 1949 season. Won six NFL championships, tying him with George Halas for most ever. He also was the first NFL head coach to make the forward pass an integral part of his team’s offense. One of only six coaches in league history to win more than 200 regular season games. Others are Don Shula, Halas, Tom Landry, Marty Schottenheimer and Bill Belichick. In addition to his 29 NFL seasons as Packers head coach, he also coached the Chicago Cardinals (1950 51) and Washington Redskins (1952 53). His overall regular season record was 226 132 22, a .631 winning percentage. Also played halfback for the Packers from 1919 through ’29 in a Notre Dame Box offense and was one of the NFL’s most prolific passers in the pre stats era of the 1920s. Named to NFL All Decade Team for the 1920s. Given name was Earl Louis Lambeau. Born April 9, 1898, in Green Bay. Died June 1, 1965, at age 67. Lambeau Field named in his honor, Sept. 11, 1965.
Had no peers in his day as a receiver and essentially defined the split end position in pro football. Held 19 NFL records when he retired. Led NFL in pass receptions eight times and led it in scoring five times. Winner of Joe F. Carr Trophy, the NFL’s official MVP award, in 1941 and ’42. Named to Official NFL All Pro team in 1936 and from 1938 42. Named on the first six Associated Press All Pro teams from 1940 45. Chosen on NFL’s 75th Anniversary All Time Team and All Two Way Team in 1994 and was the split end on the 50th Anniversary Team in 1969. Also intercepted 30 passes as a defensive back the last six years of his career and shared placekicking duties from 1940 45. Once scored a league record 29 points in a quarter. Named to three Pro Bowls. Born Jan. 31, 1913, in Pine Bluff, Ark. Died June 26, 1997, at age of 84.
A tough, bruising, powerful runner and a comparably hard hitting linebacker in the NFL’s Iron Man Era, when players played both offense and defense. His battles with Bronko Nagurski of the rival Chicago Bears were legendary. He and Nagurski were the NFL’s All Decade fullbacks for the 1930s. Retired as the NFL’s all time leading rusher with 3,860 yards. A member of the NFL’s official All Pro team four times (1936 38, 1941). Named to NFL’s 75th Anniversary All Two Way Team in 1994 as a fullback, linebacker and kicker. Played on NFL championship teams in 1936 and ’39. Born April 10, 1909, in Toronto, Ohio. Died Nov. 9, 1988, at age of 79.
Rugged, raw boned and durable. Not only a two way player, but also one who typically played all 60 minutes of a game. On the small side, even in his day, at 6 feet and 210 pounds, Michalske was quick and explosive on offense and one of the first to develop blitzing and stunting tactics on defense where he formed a formidable duo with tackle Cal Hubbard. Signed with the Packers as a free agent when the New York Yankees folded before the 1929 season. Michalske played with the Yankees in 1926 in the short lived American Football League and for two years (1927 28) in the NFL prior to Green Bay. Named to NFL’s All Decade Team for the 1920s. Standout lineman on three NFL championship teams from 1929 31. Given first name was August, but nicknamed “Iron Mike,” which, in turn, was shortened to Mike. Born April 24, 1903, in Cleveland. Died Oct. 26, 1983, at age of 80.
Pinpoint deep passer and pioneer of the long bomb in the NFL. In 1936 became first passer in league history to throw for more than 1,000 yards in a season. Led NFL in passing in 1932, ’34 and ’36. Member of the Packers’ 1930 31 championship teams, but teamed with Don Hutson to star on the 1936 and ’39 champs. Played only halfback in Packers’ Notre Dame Box system, but inducted into the Hall and chosen as a quarterback on NFL’s All Decade Team for the 1930s. Played for New York Giants (1944 45) and faced the Packers in ’44 NFL Championship Game. A Green Bay native and football and basketball star at Green Bay West High School. Born April 2, 1910, in Green Bay. Died Oct. 14, 1969, at age of 59.
Won five NFL championships over a seven year span from 1961 67 and only coach in league history to win three straight titles under a playoff format. Winning coach in Super Bowls I and II; the game’s trophy was named after him following his death in 1970. One of the most iconic figures in coaching history, regardless of sport. Ranks first in all time winning percentage among NFL coaches with 100 career victories or more. Overall record was 105 35 6, a glittering .750 winning percentage, including his one season in Washington (1969). Regular season record was 96 34 6. Postseason record, all in Green Bay, was 9 1. Served as Packers general manager in 1968, but was inducted as a head coach. Hired by Packers after serving as assistant coach with the New York Giants (1954 58). Died Sept. 3, 1970, at age of 57.
Became only the third 1,000 yard rusher in pro football history when he gained 1,052 yards in 1949. Finished his career with 4,197 yards on 1,025 attempts, a 4.1 yard average. A durable, all purpose halfback, he was a hard runner, an accomplished blocker, capable passer and good receiver. Also played defense early in his career. Spent 1945 season in the service during World War II. Played college football at Gonzaga, where he acquired the nickname “Grey Ghost.” Born May 5, 1919, in Chicago. Died Nov. 29, 2003, at age of 84.
Hard edged, hard nosed runner who typically dished out more punishment than he took. Rushed for more than 1,000 yards in five straight seasons from 1960 64. Spent his final season in 1967 with the New Orleans Saints. When he retired from the NFL, he ranked second to the great Jim Brown in all time rushing yards with 8,597. Won league rushing title in 1962 with 1,474 yards and averaged 5.4 per carry. Had 26 career 100 yard rushing games, all in a Packers uniform. Chosen by The Associated Press as the NFL’s MVP in 1962. Selected MVP of 1965 NFL Championship Game. Chosen as one of two fullbacks, along with Brown, on NFL’s 1960s All Decade Team. Selected to five Pro Bowls. Born Sept. 20, 1935, in Baton Rouge, La.
Called by Vince Lombardi “the finest player I ever coached.” Anchor of Lombardi lines at right tackle, but filled in at guard in Packers’ 1961 championship run. Selected to nine Pro Bowls and named Associated Press All Pro seven times. Voted to NFL’s 75th Anniversary All Time Team in 1994. Also named to the NFL’s 1960s All Decade Team. Held the Packers record for durability with 187 consecutive games played until surpassed by Brett Favre in 2003. Starter on five NFL championship teams. Spent 1957 in military service. Finished his career with the Dallas Cowboys in 1971, where he won a sixth NFL title and third Super Bowl. Born Oct. 18, 1933, in Birthright, Texas.
Drafted in the 17th round in 1956, the 200th overall selection, and wound up winning a record five NFL championships as a starting quarterback. Named NFL’s MVP by The Associated Press in 1966. Led the Packers to victory in Super Bowls I and II and was named the game’s MVP each time. One of three quarterbacks picked on the NFL’s 1960s All Decade Team. Led the NFL in passing in 1962, ’64 and ’66. Passed for 24,718 yards with a 57.4 completion percentage. Named to the Pro Bowl four times. Held Packers career record for most games played (196) until surpassed by Brett Favre in 2004. Played college football at Alabama. Born Jan. 9, 1934, in Montgomery, Ala.
“Mean on Sunday” was the name of his 1973 autobiography and his trademark as a player. Looked ferocious peering at opposing quarterbacks from his middle linebacker position and played ferociously. Named MVP of 1962 NFL Championship Game, a brutal defensive battle vs. the New York Giants won by the Packers, 16 7. Named the only linebacker on NFL’s 50th Anniversary Team in 1969 and one of four middle linebackers chosen on the NFL’s 75th Anniversary All Time Team in 1994. Named Associated Press All Pro in 1964 and ’66. Selected to the Pro Bowl in 1964. Had 25 career interceptions. Born Dec. 29, 1936, in Elmwood Park, Ill. Died March 8, 1998, at age of 61.
At 6 feet and 205 pounds was not only the prototypical cornerback of his day, but all time. Had it all: speed, size, toughness, awareness and big play ability. Also played for the Dallas Cowboys from 1970 72. Intercepted 48 passes, including 39 with the Packers. Returned seven of those 39 picks for touchdowns. Named to NFL’s 1960s All Decade Team. Named Associated Press All Pro five times and was a five time Pro Bowl selection while with the Packers. Started on six NFL championship teams, including five in Green Bay, and played in four of the first six Super Bowls, including two with Dallas. Led Packers in kickoff returns each season from 1960 64 and averaged 25.7 yards over his career. Born June 8, 1939, in Philadelphia.
Excelled as a pass rusher before the NFL kept tabs on sacks or he’d likely be the Packers’ all time leader. Unofficially, it is estimated that he had more than 100 career sacks, maybe more than 120. Also highly respected team leader who served as defensive captain of the Packers’ 1966 and ’67 NFL championship teams winners of Super Bowls I and II. In all, started on five NFL championship teams. Named to NFL’s 1960s All Decade Team. Named Associated Press All Pro five times and selected to five Pro Bowls. Holds all time Packers record for career fumble recoveries with 21. Started NFL career with Cleveland Browns (1958 59). Born July 24, 1934, in Lisbon, La.
Undersized at 6 feet, 2 inches and at most 232 pounds, but cat quick at executing difficult cut blocks. Offensive captain of Vince Lombardi’s first two NFL championship teams in 1961 and ’62. Also played for Philadelphia (1964 67). Chosen on NFL’s 1960s All Decade Team. Named to two Pro Bowls before Lombardi arrived in Green Bay, five more under Lombardi and three with the Eagles. Named Associated Press All Pro six times with Packers. Highly durable performer, once held NFL record for most consecutive games played (183), including 126 with Green Bay. Born Nov. Died Nov. 19, 2007, at age of 75.
One of the most versatile players in pro football history, he won the NFL scoring title three consecutive years (1959 61). Set league record by scoring 176 points in 12 game, 1960 season. Record stood for 46 years until broken by LaDainian Tomlinson over 16 games in 2006. Named NFL’s Associated Press MVP in 1961 and also MVP of that season’s NFL Championship Game. Vince Lombardi viewed him as his biggest playmaker and best clutch player. As the starting left halfback, he was the ball carrier in the heyday of Lombardi’s power sweep. Named All Pro at halfback by The Associated Press in 1960 and ’61. Named to NFL’s 1960s All Decade Team. Doubled as Packers kicker from 1958 62 and again in ’64. Scored 760 career points. Bonus choice or first player selected overall in 1957 NFL Draft. Played college football at Notre Dame, winning Heisman Trophy in 1956. Born Dec. 23, 1935, in Louisville, Ky.
Sent postcards to several NFL teams asking for a tryout coming out of USC in 1960. Signed with the Packers as a rookie free agent and started at free safety on five NFL championship teams. Named Associated Press All Pro five straight years from 1964 68. An eight time Pro Bowl selection. Named to NFL’s 1960s All Decade Team. One of two safeties chosen on the Super Bowl Silver Anniversary Team in 1990. Broke open a close contest in third quarter of Super Bowl I, intercepting a Len Dawson pass and returning it 50 yards to the Kansas City Chiefs’ 5. Had 48 career interceptions. Won NFL title in 1962 with nine thefts. Also led league in punt returns in 1961 with 16.1 yard average. One of only 16 non drafted free agents to make Hall of Fame. Played college football in one platoon era and doubled as a quarterback and defensive back. Born Dec.
Raised havoc with his quickness, especially as a pass rusher, on Vince Lombardi’s five NFL championship teams. Named Associated Press All Pro five straight seasons (1960 64). Also selected to play in the Pro Bowl four times. Originally a fifth round draft choice of Cleveland Browns and came to Green Bay in 1959 trade. Played for the Browns (1957 58). Unofficially had 3.5 sacks in 1967 Western Conference Championship Game win over Los Angeles Rams. Born Jan. 26, 1935, in Emporia, Va. Died Feb. 21, 1977, at age of 42.
Big, fast, gifted receiver who could run any route and probably could have starred in any system. Excelled as a deep threat. First Packers player without direct ties to either Curly Lambeau or Vince Lombardi to be inducted in Canton. Caught 530 passes for 9,656 yards and averaged a sensational 18.2 yards per catch in his nine seasons with the Packers. Rams (1993) and Philadelphia (1993). In 16 NFL seasone, posted 764 receptions for 14,004 yards and an 18.3 yard average. Yardage total was the NFL career record at the time. Chosen for seven Pro Bowls and named Associated Press All Pro twice while playing for the Packers. Named to NFL’s 1980s All Decade Team. Recorded more than 50 receptions in a season nine times. First NFL player to score a touchdown in 1970s, ’80s and ’90s. Born July 5, 1956, in Fort Ord, Calif.
Nicknamed “Minister of Defense” while playing at the University of Tennessee, he arguably became the most dominant defensive end in NFL history when considering production against both the run and pass. At the time of retirement, his 198 sacks were an NFL record, as were his 12 seasons with 10 plus sacks. Only player to record 10 sacks in nine consecutive seasons. Played six of his 15 NFL seasons with the Packers and registered 68.5 sacks with a season high of 16 in 1998. Named Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year in 1998. Named to the Pro Bowl in all six of his Packers seasons and selected Associated Press All Pro twice. In Packers’ Super Bowl XXXI victory over New England, he set a Super Bowl record with three sacks. Began his pro career with the USFL’s Memphis Showboats (1984 85) before entering the NFL. Also played for Philadelphia Eagles (1985 92) and Carolina Panthers (2000). During eight seasons with Philadelphia, recorded more sacks (124) than games played (121). A landmark free agent when he signed with Green Bay in 1993. The next year he was selected for the NFL’s 75th Anniversary All Time Team. Also chosen to NFL’s All Decade teams for the 1980s and ’90s. Elected to 13 straight Pro Bowls. Born Dec. 19, 1961, in Chattanooga, Tenn. Died Dec. 26, 2004, at age of 43.
At 6 foot 3 and 245 pounds and with 4.6 speed in the 40, he was the prototypical outside linebacker. Excelled at holding up the tight end at the line and nullified Hall of Famers John Mackey and Mike Ditka in the 14 games he faced them. Made three big plays that spelled the difference in three of the biggest games of Vince Lombardi’s three year title run. Plays included a game changing 87 yard interception return in a do or die 1965 regular season victory at the Baltimore Colts; a smothering pressure against Dallas quarterback Don Meredith that saved the Packers in the 1966 NFL Championship Game; and a critical blocked field goal in 1967 playoff victory over the Los Angeles Rams. Named to NFL’s 1960s All Decade Team. Named Associated Press All Pro in 1967 and ’69. Three time Pro Bowl selection. Registered 21 interceptions during his 10 seasons with Green Bay. His 12 interceptions from 1965 67 were the most in the league among linebackers. Also played for Washington (1973 74).
Executive Vice President and General Manager (1992 2000)
Orchestrated one of the most remarkable rebuilding efforts in NFL history following a Packers drought of 24 years. Under his leadership from 1992 2000, the Packers were tied for the second best regular season record in the NFL (92 52, .639), while recording seven consecutive winning seasons (1992 98) and six straight playoff appearances (1993 98). Made three key transactions early in his time in Green Bay: hiring Mike Holmgren as head coach, trading for quarterback Brett Favre and signing defensive end Reggie White. The moves helped the Packers win three consecutive NFC Central Division championships (1995 97) and back to back NFC titles (1996 97). From 1992 2000, the Packers were 65 12 (.844) at Lambeau Field during the regular season and playoffs, the best home record in the NFL over that time span. Began his NFL career as a scout for the Oakland Raiders in 1963 and spent 23 seasons with the franchise over three separate tenures as the Raiders posted winning records in all but six of those years. In 1975, hired by the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers as general manager. Born Dec. 30, 1938 in New Freedom, Pa.
The ultimate ironman among NFL quarterbacks. All time record breaker. The savior, so to speak, of a franchise that had been mired in a nearly 25 year funk. Favre was all of the above during a career that might have been unmatched in Packers history. He started a remarkable 253 straight games before moving on to the New York Jets (2008) and Minnesota Vikings (2009 10), where he extended his NFL record for quarterbacks to 298 games. When he retired, he held the all time league record for almost every major passing category, including attempts, completions, yards and touchdowns. Acquired in a trade after spending his rookie year with Atlanta (1991), Favre joined the Packers at a time when they had made only two postseason appearances in 24 years. In his 16 years as a starter, Green Bay made the playoffs 11 times, highlighted by a victory in Super Bowl XXXI. Born Oct. 10, 1969, in Gulfport, Miss.
Drafted by the Packers in the fourth round (No. 39 overall) of the 1958 NFL Draft out of the University of Idaho. Kramer was named first team All Pro by The Associated Press five times (1960, 1962 63, 1966 67) and was selected to the Pro Bowl three times (1962 63, 1967). Kramer was also named to the NFL’s 50th Anniversary Team, the NFL All Decade Team of the 1960s and the Super Bowl Silver Anniversary Team. Kramer played in 130 regular season games during his 11 seasons and helped Green Bay register winning records in all but his first and last season. He was an integral part of the Packers’ dominance during the 1960s, starting at right guard in five NFL championship games (missed 1961 due to injury), four of which were won by the Packers, and both of Green Bay’s victories in Super Bowl I and II. Kramer delivered the key block that made way for Bart Starr’s game winning touchdown in the 1967 NFL Championship against the Dallas Cowboys, a game famously known as the “Ice Bowl.” On top of being a big part of the offensive line, he also handled placekicking duties in 1962 63 and briefly in his final season. For his career, Kramer totaled 177 career points on 90 extra points and 29 field goals made. He kicked three field goals and one PAT in the 1962 NFL Championship Game win at the New York Giants.