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Ollie Matson: May 1, 1930 – February 19, 2011

By on February 20, 2011
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Ollie Matson was a NFL warrior. The dynamic running back was also an Olympic medalist, and a six-time NFL Pro Bowler. The  legendary hall of famer died of respiratory failure surrounded by family in his Los Angeles home. He was 80.

The legendary sports career of Ollie Matson began in 1952 when he was an All-America college star at the University of San Francisco. He was the Cardinals first-round draft choice but delayed his pro signing so that he could compete as a member of the American track team in the 1952 Olympics. He took bronze and silver medals.

After military service interrupted his career, he returned to the gridiron, he was an All-NFL performer, year in and year out. Matson played 14 pro seasons with multiple teams including the Chicago Cardinals, Detroit Lions, and Los Angeles Rams.

Born May 1, 1930, in Trinity, Texas, Ollie Genoa Matson II is survived by his children Lisa, Ollie III, Bruce and Barbara; his twin sister Ocie Thompson; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. His wife, Mary, whom he married in 1954, is deceased.

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