NFL Hall of Famer Willie Davis died on Wednesday at age 85, according to the Green Bay Packers.
The pro football player “passed away peacefully” after spending about a month in the hospital with kidney failure, the Packers said.
Davis – who became the first black captain for the Packers in 1965 – spent 10 years with the Wisconsin team, from 1960 to 1969.
In his 138 games with the Packers, Davis never missed a single one.
His accolades as a player are numerous. A defensive end, Davis was a 5-time Pro Bowl choice and 5-time Associated Press All-Pro. He also led the Packers to two Super Bowl wins, in 1966 and 1967.
“The Green Bay Packers Family was saddened today to learn about the passing of Willie Davis,” said Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy in a statement. “One of the great defensive players of his era, Willie was a significant contributor to the Packers’ five NFL championship teams during the 1960s.”
After 12 years in the league, Davis was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 1975, and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1981. He also served on the Packers’ board of directors from 1994 to 2005 – only the second black member of the board.
In a statement issued through the Packers, Davis’ family said he was “much more” than a renown football player.
He was a “trailblazer in the world of business” who also had a “passion for radio broadcasting, becoming one of the first Black Americans to own a Class A radio broadcasting license,” the Davis’ said.
The family said funeral services for Davis “will be private, but a future, public celebration of his incredible life is planned.”