Claude Humphrey
No. 87
Position:Defensive end
Personal information
Born:(1944-06-29)June 29, 1944
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Died:December 3, 2021(2021-12-03) (aged 77)
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:252 lb (114 kg)
Career information
High school:Lester
(Memphis, TN)
College:Tennessee State
NFL Draft:1968 / Round: 1 / Pick: 3
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Forced fumbles:11
Player stats at · PFR

Claude B. Humphrey (June 29, 1944 – December 3, 2021) was an American professional football player who played as a defensive end in the National Football League (NFL) for the Atlanta Falcons and Philadelphia Eagles. Humphrey was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014. He played college football at Tennessee State University.

Professional career

Humphrey was drafted out of Tennessee State University in the first round of the 1968 NFL Draft with the third overall choice by the Falcons.[1] Humphrey was a little All-American in 1967.

Humphrey's stellar career included being named first-team All-Pro five times (1971–74, and 1977), second-team All-Pro three times (1969, 1970, 1976), and All-NFC six times (1970–74, 1977). He was second-team All-NFC in 1976 when Humphrey unofficially recorded a career-high 15 quarterback sacks. In addition, Humphrey was named to the Pro Bowl six times over the span of his career (1970–74 & 1977).[2]

Humphrey finished out his career with the Philadelphia Eagles from 1979 to 1981. In 1980 Humphrey was a designated pass rusher, recording a team-high 14+12 sacks helping the Eagles become NFC champions and earn a spot in Super Bowl XV. He finished his career with an unofficial 126+12 career sacks with the Falcons and Eagles. He retired in 1981, the season before sacks were recorded as an official NFL statistic.[3]

During Super Bowl XV, when Humphrey was called for roughing the passer against Oakland Raiders quarterback Jim Plunkett, he picked up the penalty flag and fired it back at referee Ben Dreith.[4]

Humphrey was a member of the Georgia Hall of Fame and the Tennessee Hall of Fame. His alma mater (Tennessee State University) retired his number and inducted him into their Hall of Fame, and his high school also retired his jersey and inducted him into their Hall of Fame.[5] He is a member of the Atlanta Falcons Ring of Honor.[6]

The Professional Football Researchers Association named Humphrey to the PFRA Hall of Very Good Class of 2009.[7]

Humphrey was a member of Phi Beta Sigma.

Humphrey died on December 3, 2021, at the age of 77.[8]

Outside Football

Humphrey also had a guest appearance on The Dukes of Hazzard episode "Repo Men" in which he portrayed Big John, a counterfeiter.[9]

Pro Football Hall of Fame

Humphrey was a final 15 candidate in 2003, 2005, and 2006. On August 27, 2008, he was named as one of two senior candidates for the 2009 Hall of Fame election.[10] In August 2013, he was named as one of two senior candidates for the 2014 Hall of Fame election.[11]

In February 2014, Claude Humphrey was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on the senior ballot.[12]

On August 2, 2014, Humphrey was officially inducted at the Enshrinement Ceremony where his bust, sculpted by Scott Myers, was unveiled.[13]


  1. ^ "Player BIO". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  2. ^ "Claude Humphrey, Hall of Famer and former Falcons DE, dies at 77". The Athletic Media Company. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  3. ^ "Football Hall of Famer Claude Humphrey dies as age 77". USA Today. December 4, 2021.
  4. ^ Kracz, Ed. "Claude Humphrey, who Helped Lead Eagles to Super Bowl XV, Passes Away". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  5. ^ "DEFENSIVE MENACE, CLAUDE HUMPHREY: 1944-2021". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  6. ^ "Hall of Famer and Falcons Ring of Honor member Claude Humphrey passes away at 77". Atlanta Falcons Football Club. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  7. ^ "Hall of Very Good Class of 2009". Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  8. ^ "Gone Too Soon: Hall-of-Famer Claude Humphrey Passes Away at 77". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 4 December 2021.
  9. ^ "Q&A with Hall-of-Fame DE Claude Humphrey".
  10. ^ "Hayes, Humphrey named 2009 senior candidates - Pro Football Hall of Fame". Archived from the original on September 3, 2008. Retrieved September 3, 2008.
  11. ^ "CLASS OF 2014 FINALISTS REVEALED". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  12. ^ "Class of 2014". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  13. ^ Harville, Josh. "Hall of Fame and busts: Scott Myers is the man behind the bronze". Retrieved 18 January 2022.