|Birthdate:||June 20, 1935|
Dallas AFL; 1962
Kansas City; 1963-1975
|MVP:||Super Bowl IV|
|Other:||Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987.|
Len Dawson ranks among the elite passers of all time with an 82.6 rating compiled over 19 seasons. However, he is perhaps best remembered for his courageous most-valuable-player performance in leading the Chiefs to a 23-7 upset of the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV.
Although burdened by the pressures of a week-long gambling investigation that completely cleared him of any involvement, Dawson completed 12 of 17 passes for 142 yards, and his 46-yard touchdown to Otis Taylor was the clincher.
The number-one draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1957--Dawson was selected ahead of running superstar Jim Brown--the former Purdue sharpshooter struggled through five seasons as a seldom-used backup with the Steelers and Cleveland Browns before finding his niche with the Dallas Texans of the American Football League in 1962. He paced the Texans, who became the Kansas City Chiefs the next year, to their first AFL championship in a double-overtime victory over the Houston Oilers.
Noted for his calm, poised approach to every situation, the Ohio native was often lauded by his coach, Hank Stram, as "the most accurate passer in pro football." Dawson won four AFL individual passing crowns--1962, 1964, 1966, and 1968. He was named to six AFL All-Star games and the 1972 AFC-NFC Pro Bowl. An All-AFL selection in both 1962 and 1966, he was named the AFL player of the year in 1962.