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Johnny Unitas
Birth: May 7, 1933
Allegheny County
Pennsylvania, USA
Death: Sep. 11, 2002
Baltimore County
Maryland, USA

Hall of Fame Professional Football Player. For 19 seasons (1955 to 1973) he played the quarterback position with the Pittsburgh Steelers (1955), the Baltimore Colts (1956 to 1972) and the San Diego Chargers (1973). One of the greatest football players of all time, he was the National Football League's (NFL) most valuable player in 1959, 1964, and 1967. Born John Constantine Unitas, his father died when he was four years old and he was raised by his mother, who worked two jobs to support the family. After graduating from Saint Justin's High School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he played quarterback and halfback, he attended the University of Louisville at Louisville, Kentucky where he completed 245 passes for 3,139 yards and 27 touchdowns during his college career. In 1955 he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 9th round but was released before the start of the season. The following year, he tried out with the Baltimore Colts as a walk-on and was signed to a contract. In 1957, his first season as the Colts full-time starter at quarterback, he finished first in the NFL in passing yards (2,550) and touchdown passes (24) as he helped lead the Colts to a 7-5 record, the first winning record in franchise history. The following year, he led the Colts to the NFL championship by defeating the New York Giants 23-17 on December 28, 1958 in sudden death overtime, the first overtime game in NFL history and often referred to as the "greatest game ever played." In 1973 he was traded to the San Diego Chargers and his poor performance on the field that year ultimately led him to retire from professional football in 1974. He finished his career with 2,830 completions in 5,186 attempts for 40,239 yards and 290 touchdowns, with 253 interceptions. He also rushed for 1,777 yards and 13 touchdowns. He established several passing records during his career, including the first quarterback to throw for more than 40,000 yards, despite playing during an era when NFL teams played shorter seasons of 12 or 14 games (as opposed to today's 16-game seasons), 32 touchdown passes in 1959, the first quarterback to hit the 30 touchdown mark in a season, and the most consecutive games with a touchdown pass (which he set between 1956-1960), a record that stood for 52 years until New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees broke it on October 7, 2012. He was a ten-time Pro Bowl selection (1957 through 1964), 1966 and 1967), a 5-time Associated Press First-Team All-Pro (1958, 1959, 1964, 1965, and 1967), a 3-time Pro Bowl Most Valuable Player (1959, 1960, and 1963), the 1970 NFL Man of the Year, and was selected for the NFL 50th and 75th All-Time Team and the NFL 1960s All-Decade Team. After retiring from football, he pursuing a career in broadcasting, doing color commentary for NFL games on CBS in the 1970s. In 1979 he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and in 1987 he was inducted into the American Football Association's Semi Pro Football Hall of Fame. After the Colts franchise relocated to Indianapolis in 1984, he was so outraged that he cut all ties to the relocated team and he actively lobbied for another NFL team to come to Baltimore, which occurred in 1996 with the new franchise Baltimore Ravens. He made a few film appearances, including the Walt Disney film "Gus" (1976, as a color-commentator), "Runaway Bride" (1999, as an extra), and "Any Given Sunday" (1999, as the head coach of the fictional Dallas Knights). He died of a heart attack while working out at the age of 69. In 1987 the annual Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award was established for the top senior quarterback of the current year in college football. His uniform number (19) was retired by the Baltimore Colts. (bio by: William Bjornstad) 
Family links: 
  Francis Joseph Unitas (1901 - 1938)
Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens
Baltimore County
Maryland, USA
GPS (lat/lon): 39.45842, -76.6162
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Sep 12, 2002
Find A Grave Memorial# 6772006
Johnny Unitas
Added by: Ron Moody
Johnny Unitas
Added by: Anonymous
Johnny Unitas
Added by: laelliott
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Growing up in the 60's he was a legend to me and he still is. In those days we had idol's we can look back on and realize they made an impact on our lives. Sorry to say but there are not many idol's for our kids to choose from these days. Times are changi...(Read more)
- Johnnie Dodson
 Added: Sep. 17, 2017
Mr. Unitas, God called you home 15 years ago today. You were, are, and will always represent everything which is right with athletics. Thank you for the countless memories and moments, which you have and continue to provide for generations of fans, young ...(Read more)
- Anonymous
 Added: Sep. 11, 2017

- Cindy
 Added: Sep. 11, 2017
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