Pro Football Hall of Fame and longtime Green Bay Packers fullback Jim Taylor passed away Saturday morning, the team announced. He was 83.
"One of the best runners of his era, he later was greatly appreciated by multiple generations of Packers fans during his many returns to Lambeau Field with his fellow alumni. Our deepest condolences go out to his wife, Helen, and their family and friends."
Taylor starred at fullback for the Packers from 1958-1966 during the franchise's dominant years under Vince Lombardi. Along with Paul Hornung, the fullback powered Green Bay's legendary ground attack, rushing for 8,207 yards (4.5 yards per carry) and 81 touchdowns in his nine seasons as a Packer, including a single-season mark of 1,474 yards in 1962 (a Packers record that stood for 41 years). Taylor made five Pro Bowls, one All-Pro team, won four NFL titles and Super Bowl I, and was named NFL MVP in 1962.
Taylor spent his final season of 1967 in New Orleans, and his absence was noted on multiple occasions by teammate and fellow Hall of Famer Jerry Kramer in his bestselling book "Instant Replay," which chronicled Green Bay's 1967 campaign.
"Jim Taylor lived life the same way he played football, with passion, determination and love for all he did," said David Baker, Pro Football Hall of Fame president and CEO, in a statement Saturday. "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."