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Paul Hornung, Louisville’s Golden Boy, has Died

Louisville native Paul Hornung, the 1956 Heisman Trophy winner from Notre Dame and five-time champion for the Green Bay Packers has died after a bout with dementia. He was 84.

Dubbed “The Golden Boy,” Hornung was a larger than life figure in the city of Louisville since his playing days at Flaget High School. The city’s biggest star for a generation of sports fans, he remained in the limelight long after his career concluded.

The weekly Paul Hornung Show introduced him to a younger generation of sports fans in the 90s. His name became synonymous with the best athletes in college football, as stars like Odell Beckham Jr., Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey and Lynn Bowden took home the Hornung Award, given to the sport’s most versatile athlete every year since 2010. A horse racing fan, Hornung was one of Churchill Downs’ favorite patrons.

The only player to ever win the Heisman on a team with a losing record, Hornung did everything for the Fighting Irish. The blonde-haired athlete was Notre Dame’s leading passer, rusher, kicker, returner and he was second on the team in tackles and interceptions. Hornung is a big reason why there’s a large Notre Dame fanbase in the city of Louisville.

He did not slow down once he got to the pros. Described by Vince Lombardi as “the greatest player I ever coached” and “the best all-around back ever to play football,” Hornung helped the Packers win four NFL Championships and Super Bowl I. He was an All-Pro player twice and in 1961 was named NFL MVP. To put it plainly, Hornung was the best player for the NFL’s best team in the 1960s.

A somewhat mythical figure in the city of Louisville, stories of his legend will be told for generations to come.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

6 Comments for Paul Hornung, Louisville’s Golden Boy, has Died

  1. jakew60
    1:22 pm November 13, 2020 Permalink

    Got family that knew him very well of course we are all Catholics so it makes since was a great guy to say the least

    • nocode96
      4:17 pm November 13, 2020 Permalink

      Being Catholic makes you a great guy? There’s several thousand alter boys that would disagree with you. Plenty of good Catholic people out there, just like with any religion, but there’s plenty of awful ones too. Being a devout Catholic, Protestant, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, or whatever does not automatically make anyone a great person.

    • peaches76
      10:16 pm November 13, 2020 Permalink

      Congrats on being an ass….whatever your religion.

    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      6:04 pm November 13, 2020 Permalink

      Well, his sentence was written in a somewhat rambling manner, so I’m going to assume he meant his family knew Hornung because they’re all Catholic so they ran in the same circles. I dunno for sure if that’s what he meant but that was what I thought.

    • chris gettelfinger is not walking through that door
      6:06 pm November 13, 2020 Permalink

      And from the same area.

  2. RexRox
    2:12 pm November 13, 2020 Permalink

    Back in the 90’s and early 2000’s I went to Churchill Downs every day it was open. I used to see Paul there occasionally and always made it a point to speak to him by name. He always seemed surprised that someone recognized him. One day during the fall meet, I was sitting on a bench near the paddock enjoying the sunshine. There was a couple sitting on a bench in front of me and both were wearing Green Bay Packer gear, head to toe. I noticed Paul standing by the paddock fence. This couple had no idea they were in the vicinity of Packer royalty. I considered telling them but thought, “No, let Paul enjoy his anonymity.” If he wanted attention, he could have gotten it very easily. Always a cool and friendly guy.