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It is with great sadness that we report the death of NFL legend Franco Harris.
Franco Harris, who was 72 years old, played for the Pittsburgh Steelers for most of his career and was widely considered one of the best running backs of all time.
Franco was known for his devastating running style and” Immaculate Reception “—a play still considered one of the greatest moments in NFL history.
In a career that spanned 13 seasons, Harris racked up more than 12,000 yards and scored 88 touchdowns.
Harris was also a dedicated philanthropist, founding the Franco-Harris Foundation to help underprivileged children in Pittsburgh.
He is survived by his wife, Tammy, and their four children.
Franco Harris’s Impact on the NFL
Harris was one of the most influential players in NFL history.
He was a key member of the Pittsburgh Steelers team that won four Super Bowls in the 1970s, and he was known for his powerful running style and his dedication to the game, he was also a vocal advocate for players’ rights, and he worked to improve conditions for players both on and off the field.
His death is a loss to the NFL community, and he will be missed by players and fans alike.
Remembering His Signature Moment
You might remember Franco Harris as the leading rusher for the Pittsburgh Steelers during the 1970s. He was an 11-time Pro Bowler, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990, and was named MVP of Super Bowl IX.
But his most famous moment didn’t come on the football field. It happened on December 23, 1972, when he caught a pass from quarterback Terry Bradshaw and ran it in for a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders. That play—dubbed “the Immaculate Reception”—is now considered one of the greatest moments in NFL history.
Franco passed away yesterday at age 72. He’ll be remembered not just for his football skills, but for his kindness and generosity off the field as well.
His Legacy as an NFL Hall of Famer
We are deeply saddened to report that NFL legend Franco Harris has passed away at the age of 72.
He was an icon in the NFL, playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers for most of his career and becoming a Hall of Famer in 1990, he was also known for his philanthropy, founding the Franco Harris Foundation to support children’s charities.
His legacy will live on, both through his work on the football field and in the community. During this awful moment, our thoughts are with his family.
An Overview of Franco Harris’s Career
You can’t talk about Franco Harris without mentioning his amazing career, Harris played 12 seasons in the NFL and remains one of the most decorated players in NFL history, he was known for his versatility, athleticism, and prowess on the field.
He was selected to nine Pro Bowls during his career, had four 1,000-yard rushing seasons, and led the league in rushing yards three times, he was selected to four All-Pro teams and voted NFL MVP in 1972.
Harris was also an integral part of some of the most iconic teams in NFL history, such as the Super Bowl IX champion Steelers that included Terry Bradshaw, Lynn Swann, and other Hall of Famers, he held numerous Steelers team records at the time of his retirement.
In terms of accolades, Harris is widely regarded as one of the best running backs of all time and was inducted into both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame in 1990 and 1989 respectively.
The Highlights of His Personal Life
His personal life was nothing short of inspiring, he was married to his wife, Dana Harris, for more than 30 years and had four children.
He was also a devoted father who attended all the major events in his children’s lives, his eldest child, Franco Jr., played football while attending Penn State and later played professionally in the XFL before retiring.
Franco was also an avid sports fan who liked to watch NFL games as well as golf and horse racing, he also enjoyed traveling and playing cards with family and friends.
Perhaps most importantly, Franco Harris was passionate about giving back to the community, his philanthropic work included participating in charity golf tournaments and donating his time to charities that focused on feeding homeless children, animal rescue centers, and cancer research.
Celebrating His Legacy Despite Death
Though his passing is a difficult time for his friends, family, and fans, it’s important to remember him for the incredible legacy he left behind during his time on Earth, Harris truly left an indelible mark on not only the NFL but on history.
Harris was chosen by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round of the 1972 NFL Draft and went on to play 13 seasons with Pittsburgh. Throughout his illustrious career, he led the team as its star running back, earning four Super Bowl rings and multiple Pro Bowl and All-Pro selections, he is also credited with helping to break down racial barriers in professional football.
On top of his accomplishments as a player, Harris also founded several charitable organizations throughout his life that helped make an impact in communities across America, his legacy as an athlete and humanitarian will live on through future generations as they remember this larger-than-life figure who showed us that anything was possible.
In the end, Harris was a great man on and off the football field, he was known for his humility and kindness, and he will be sorely missed.
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