Chiefs Hall of Honor

AFL

Len Dawson

Len Dawson

QB

1962-1975

Born: June 20, 1935 (Alliance, OH)

College: Purdue

Drafted: By Steelers, 1957 / 1st Rd (5th overall)

Career Highlights:

  • AFL Player of the Year, 1962
  • Super Bowl IV MVP, 1969
  • NFL Man of the Year, 1973
  • AFL All-Star Game, 1962, 1964, 1966-69
  • All-AFL/AFC, 1962, 1964-66, 1968, 1971
  • AFC/NFC Pro Bowl, 1971
  • Chiefs Hall of Fame Inductee, 1979
  • Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee, 1987

When Len Dawson joined the franchise in Dallas in 1962, after five years languishing on the bench for NFL clubs, he’d lost the fundamental skills that had made him a prized first-round draft choice out of Purdue in 1957. But under the tutelage of coach Hank Stram – who’d been an assistant at Purdue when Dawson was an All-American there – Dawson developed into a Hall of Fame quarterback, leading the team to three AFL titles, two of the first four Super Bowls, and the world championship during the 1969 season. Along the way, he developed a reputation as the consummate quarterback: a quiet leader, utterly unflappable, exhibiting rare grace under pressure. “He has those unusual qualities you look for in a quarterback,” said Stram. “He never lost his poise, and it rubbed off on other players. They knew that somehow, some way, Lenny would get it done.” Decades after retiring, Dawson remained synonymous with the team’s glory years, and a Kansas City institution as the sportscaster for KMBC-TV.

Case Objects