Packers legend Bart Starr dies at 85

Packers legend and Hall of Fame quarterback Bart Starr died Sunday, his family announced. He was 85.

Starr, a five-time champion and the MVP of the first two Super Bowls, was widely regarded as the foundation of Green Bay’s dynasty in the 1960s.

“We are saddened to note the passing of our husband, father, grandfather, and friend, Bart Starr,” Starr’s family said in a statement released by the Packers. “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.

“Our family wishes to thank the thousands of friends and fans who have enriched his life — and therefore our lives — for so many decades and especially during the past five years. Each letter, text, phone call, and personal visit inspired him and filled him with joy.

“His love for all of humanity is well known, and his affection toward the residents of Alabama and of Wisconsin filled him with gratitude. He had hoped to make one last trip to Green Bay to watch the Packers this fall, but he shall forever be there in spirit.”

A Montgomery, Alabama, native, Starr played college football at Alabama, where he suffered a serious back injury in 1954 that disqualified him from military service, but ultimately didn’t prevent him from playing.

He was selected by the Packers with the 17th overall pick of the 1956 draft. Starr played for Vince Lombardi during the coach’s tenure in Green Bay from 1959-67 and remained with the team until he retired as a player in 1971.

Starr then joined the team’s coaching staff, serving as quarterbacks coach in 1972 before becoming the team’s head coach from 1975-83. He was elected to both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Packers Hall of Fame in 1977.

Starr’s health had been on the decline since he suffered a mini-stroke in 2012. He then suffered another stroke, a heart attack and multiple seizures in 2014 before undergoing stem cell treatments in 2015 and 2016.

His final trip to Green Bay came in October 2017, when the Packers Hall of Fame celebrated the 50th anniversary of the 1967 championship team.