Gary Kerkorian
No. 17, 18
Born:January 14, 1930
Los Angeles, California, United States
Died:May 22, 2000(2000-05-22) (aged 70)
Fresno, California
Career information
Height5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight185 lb (84 kg)
NFL draft1952 / Round: 19 / Pick: 222
Drafted byPittsburgh Steelers
Career history
As player
1952Pittsburgh Steelers
1954–1956Baltimore Colts

Gary Ray Kerkorian (January 14, 1930 – May 22, 2000) was an Armenian-American football quarterback who played four seasons in the National Football League.

College career

Born into an Armenian family, Kerkorian attended Inglewood High School in Los Angeles County, and then was a quarterback at Stanford University, where he was a three-year starter. At the end of his senior season of 1951, he held every Stanford passing record and was named a first-team All-American, leading the Indians to a 9-1 record, the Pac-8 championship, and a Rose Bowl berth.[1] He is a member of the Stanford Athletic Hall of Fame.[2]

NFL career

He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1952 NFL Draft, and saw duty as both a quarterback and placekicker.

He was traded to the Baltimore Colts and emerged as the starting quarterback for the 1954 season, though the Colts' record was a dismal 3-9. The Colts won the lottery bonus pick for the 1955 NFL Draft, giving them the first overall draft pick. They selected George Shaw, a quarterback from the University of Oregon, and Kerkorian was soon relegated to backup duty. (Coincidentally, Shaw was the younger brother of Tom Shaw, whom Kerkorian had replaced as starting Stanford quarterback in 1949.[3][4]) The following year, the Colts acquired rookie Johnny Unitas, and Kerkorian slipped to third string.


Between the 1952 and 1953 NFL seasons, Kerkorian toured with the United States national rugby league team to Australia, where he played the 5/8 position and kicked many goals.[5]

After football

Kerkorian left football after the 1955 season to attend law school at Georgetown University.[1] After an injury to Unitas in 1958, the Colts called Kerkorian back from law school as a possible replacement, but he did not play.[6]

Kerkorian worked as an attorney in California, and was named a Superior Court Judge in Fresno, California in 1990. He retired in January 2000, and died a few months later.[1]


  1. ^ a b c "Stanford Legend Gary Kerkorian Dies at Age 70". May 25, 2000. Archived from the original on January 20, 2013. Retrieved 2007-08-07.
  2. ^ "The Stanford Athletic Hall of Fame". Stanford Athletics website. Archived from the original on 2008-08-27. Retrieved 2007-08-07.
  3. ^ Frei, Terry (April 22, 1993). "Shaw tops a list of greats". The Oregonian. p. D01.
  4. ^ "PIL Hall of Fame 2005 Inductees" (PDF). Portland Interscholastic Hall of Fame. October 2005. Retrieved 2007-08-07.
  5. ^ "U. S. Rugby Team Victor Over Australians, 19-13". New York Times. June 14, 1953. p. S10.
  6. ^ "Colts Call Kerkorian". New York Times. November 5, 1958. p. 53.