NFL Hall of Fame running back Jim Taylor, who was an All-American at LSU, an All-Pro for the Green Bay Packers in the late 1950s and 1960s and an original New Orleans Saint in 1967 died Saturday morning in Baton Rouge. He was 83.
Taylor was best known for his days with the Packers, in which he played in the first two Super Bowls in the dominant era for the team under Coach Vince Lombardi. He rushed for more than 8,500 yards and 80 touchdowns in his 10 NFL seasons.
He was enshrined into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1976.
“Jim Taylor lived life the same way he played football, with passion, determination and love for all he did,” said Pro Football Hall of Fame President David Baker. “The entire Hall of Fame family mourns the loss of a true hero of the game and extends heartfelt condolences to his wife Helen during this difficult time. While Jim’s spirit forever resides at the Hall, we will miss his smile that would light up a room.
“The Pro Football Hall of Fame will keep Jim’s legacy alive so generations of fans will remember his rugged running style, ability to block, and leadership in Coach Vince Lombardi’s ‘run to daylight’ philosophy that made him the first from the Lombardi-era Packers to earn a place in Canton. Jim Taylor’s accomplishments on the football field and throughout his life represent values like commitment, teamwork, sacrifice, and passion that serve as inspiration to us all.”
At LSU, he was an All-American in 1957, rushing for 762 yards and 12 touchdowns, and graduated the year before the Tigers won their first national championship.
He rushed for more than 1,000 yards in five consecutive seasons at Green Bay from 1960-64. In 1962, he rushed for 1,474 yards and 19 touchdowns and was named First Team All-Pro.
Taylor was signed by the Saints following the 1967 expansion draft, and he played in just that inaugural season, rushing for 390 yards and two touchdowns. He retired during the preseason in 1968.
Jim Derry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 504.826.3531. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/JimDerryJr.
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