NFL Hall of Fame running back Paul Hornung dies at 84

Green Bay Packers running back Paul Hornung (5)  runs against the Cardinals defense.
Green Bay Packers running back Paul Hornung (5) was the NFL’s most valuable player in 1961.
(Focus On Sport / Getty Images)

Paul Hornung, the dazzling “Golden Boy” of the Green Bay Packers whose singular ability to generate points as a runner, receiver, quarterback and kicker helped turn the team into an NFL dynasty, died Friday. He was 84.

Hornung won the 1956 Heisman Trophy at Notre Dame. He was the NFL most valuable player in 1961 and played on four championship teams (1961, ‘62, ‘65 and ‘66).

He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1986.

Hornung and another of the league’s top stars, Detroit’s Alex Karras, were suspended for 1963 by commissioner Pete Rozelle for betting on NFL games and associating with undesirable persons. They returned to the NFL the next year.


Hornung won the Heisman as a quarterback, but switched to halfback in the pros and was one of the NFL’s most dynamic players in Green Bay.