Henry Jordan
refer to caption
Jordan (far right) with the Packers in Super Bowl I
No. 72, 74
Position:Defensive tackle
Personal information
Born:(1935-01-26)January 26, 1935
Emporia, Virginia, U.S.
Died:February 21, 1977(1977-02-21) (aged 42)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:248 lb (112 kg)
Career information
High school:Warwick
(Newport News, Virginia)
NFL Draft:1957 / Round: 5 / Pick: 52
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:163
Player stats at NFL.com

Henry Wendell Jordan (January 26, 1935 – February 21, 1977) was an American football defensive tackle for the Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers during his 13-year National Football League (NFL) career. He played in the NFL from 1957 to 1969 and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.[1]

Early years

Born in Emporia, Virginia, Jordan graduated in 1953 from Warwick High School, Newport News, VA in 1953. He played college football at the University of Virginia, where he was the captain of the football team as a senior. Jordan was also an All-American wrestler, the ACC champion and NCAA runner-up in 1957.[2] He was a member of the Beta chapter of Sigma Nu fraternity at UVA.

NFL career

Jordan was selected in the fifth round of the 1957 NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns, who traded him two years later to the Green Bay Packers in Vince Lombardi's first season for a fourth-round draft choice. At Green Bay, Jordan was elected to four Pro Bowls (1960, 1961, 1963, and 1966), and he was the Pro Bowl MVP in 1961. Jordan was All-NFL seven times, and he was a defensive leader on a Green Bay Packers team that won five of six NFL title games in eight seasons and won the first two Super Bowls.

A tenacious competitor on the field, Jordan was the vibrant and jovial wit among Lombardi's Packers, and was highly regarded by his teammates.[3][4][5][6][7] Highly quotable, his outgoing personality put him in demand as an after-dinner speaker.[1][4][6]

Most notably: “Lombardi treats us all the same, like dogs.”

After football

Jordan retired at age 35 in February 1970, after an injury-filled 1969 season. In 1970, Jordan relocated south to Milwaukee to create and oversee Summerfest.[8]

In 1974 Jordan was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame. In 1975 he was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame.

In 1977, seven years after leaving Green Bay, Jordan died at age 42 of a heart attack after jogging on February 21, 1977.[9]

In 1995, Henry Jordan was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

He was represented in the coin toss ceremony at Super Bowl XXIX by former teammate Ray Nitschke, who was also named to the NFL's 75th Anniversary team. The ceremony brought together former NFL stars of the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, with surviving members of that year's Hall of Fame class representing the latter decade (one of them, then-Congressman Steve Largent flipped the coin on their behalf).

In 2000, the Warwick High School athletics field (Newport News, VA) was named in his honor.

In May 2009, he was named to the Hampton Roads Sports Hall of Fame, which honors athletes, coaches and administrators who contributed to sports in southeastern Virginia.


  1. ^ a b Lea, Bud (January 30, 1995). "Fun-loving Jordan deserved Hall niche". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 6B.
  2. ^ "Seven Virginia Cavaliers Selected to the Atlantic Coast Conference 50th Anniversary Wrestling Team". University of Virginia Athletics. August 15, 2002. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
  3. ^ Hofmann, Dale (February 22, 1977). "Jordan's death real shocker". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 1, part 2.
  4. ^ a b Lea, Bud (February 22, 1977). "Henry Jordan looked at the light side". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 1, part 2.
  5. ^ "Henry Jordan is dead of apparent heart attack". Argus Press. Owosso, Michigan. Associated Press. February 22, 1977. p. 16.
  6. ^ a b "All-pro Henry Jordan dies". Ellensburg Daily Record. Washington. UPI. February 22, 1977. p. 6.
  7. ^ Johnson, Chuck (April 2, 1961). "Praise from teammate". Milwaukee Journal. p. 3, sports.
  8. ^ "Packers lose Henry Jordan". Pittsburgh Press. UPI. February 3, 1970. p. 31.
  9. ^ "Funeral of Henry Jordan". Baltimore Sun. February 24, 1977.