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.
RIP to Packers legend Paul Hornung, seen here kicking a FG during the 1960 NFL Championship Game. He was 84 pic.twitter.com/BFzhrPwOej
— Old-Time Baseball Photos (@OTBaseballPhoto) November 13, 2020
A somewhat mythical figure in the city of Louisville, stories of his legend will be told for generations to come.