Legendary Green Bay Packers QB Bart Starr has passed away at the age of 85. Starr was one of the prized pieces of the Packers dynasty of the 1960s and led the team to five titles, including two Super Bowls.
In recent years Starr had suffered a series of health setbacks. This includes two strokes, a heart attack, and seizures in September 2014, followed by a severe bronchial infection in August 2015 according to ESPN. The legendary quarterback also broke his hip in December.
"We are saddened to note the passing of our husband, father, grandfather, and friend, Bart Starr," a statement from Starr's family read according to ESPN. "He battled with courage and determination to transcend the serious stroke he suffered in September 2014, but his most recent illness was too much to overcome.
"While he may always be best known for his success as the Packers quarterback for 16 years, his true legacy will always be the respectful manner in which he treated every person he met, his humble demeanor, and his generous spirit."
Starr's tenure with the Packers included the team's appearance in the first two Super Bowls, playing against the Kansas City Chiefs and Oakland Raiders respectively in each game. He is also known for his on-the-field heroics during the NFL Championship Game in 1967, best known as the Ice Bowl. The game featured the iconic moment where Starr kept the football himself to run into the endzone across the icy field, securing the victory.
His passing brought out a slew of tributes from across the NFL and with fans.
“The Packers Family was saddened today to learn of the passing of Bart Starr,” Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy said in a statement following the announcement. “A champion on and off the field, Bart epitomized class and was beloved by generations of Packers fans. A clutch player who led his team to five NFL titles, Bart could still fill Lambeau Field with electricity decades later during his many visits. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Cherry and the entire Starr family.”
Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson also commented on the loss, saying Starr "will [be] missed & forever remembered." Hall of Fame Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton also shared a touching message for Starr on Twitter.
"Bart Starr was truly one of the greatest, both as a quarterback and as a man," the legendary QB said on Twitter.
Today is a sad day. Bart Starr was truly one of the greatest, both as a quarterback and as a man. He deserves so much of the credit for five @packers championships. Bart, you were a special player and man, and you will be greatly missed by all of us. @nfl @ProFootballHOF pic.twitter.com/AqbJCRWHSj— Francis Tarkenton (@Fran_Tarkenton) May 26, 2019
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell also delivered a personal statement on Starr's passing.
"Bart Starr was one of the most genuine, sincere people I knew," Goodell said. "He personified the values of our league as a football player, a family man, and a tireless philanthropist who cared deeply about helping at-risk kids. Above all, he was a wonderful human being who will be remembered for his kindness and compassion. On behalf of the entire NFL family and football fans all over the world, we send our heartfelt condolences to his wife, Cherry, his family, and the Green Bay community. He will be sorely missed."