Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback and popular radio and TV sports personality Len Dawson has died. He was 87.
He led the Kansas City Chiefs to their first Super Bowl win in 1970, even picking up the MVP title. "Lenny the Cool" also guided Chiefs fans through their ups and downs as a broadcaster for more than 50 years.
Dawson had entered hospice care earlier this month. In a statement released by the Chiefs, "Len Dawson is synonymous with the Kansas City Chiefs. Len embraced and came to embody Kansas City and the people that call it home.
You would be hard-pressed to find a player who had a bigger impact in shaping the organization as we know it today than Len Dawson did," said Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt.
Dawson was born in Alliance, Ohio, in 1935. Fifty-two years later, he stood at the Hall of Fame in nearby Canton, inducted after a 19-year football career.
He was only the third person to enter the Hall of Fame as a player and a broadcaster, after Frank Gifford and Dan Dierdorf.
"I was into working," Dawson said with a laugh in 2017, when the broadcasting booth at Arrowhead Stadium was formally dedicated to him.
Dawson was a color commentator for the Chiefs radio broadcasts on the Chiefs radio network from 1984 through 2017.
His broadcast play-by-play partner for 24 of those years, Mitch Holthus, was a long-time admirer.
"I made sure my mom made a crude, stitched jersey with 1 and 6 on it because I wanted to be Lenny Dawson," said Holthus, referring to Dawson's jersey No. 16.