Joe Childress
No. 35
Childress in 1961
Date of birth(1933-10-26)October 26, 1933
Place of birthRobertsdale, Alabama, U.S.
Date of deathMay 5, 1986(1986-05-05) (aged 52)
Place of deathHouston, Texas, U.S.
Career information
Position(s)Running back
Height6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight202 lb (92 kg)
US collegeAuburn
High schoolRobertsdale (AL)
NFL draft1956 / Round: 1 / Pick: 7
Drafted byChicago Cardinals
Career history
As player
1956–1965Chicago/St. Louis Cardinals
Career highlights and awards
Career stats

Joe Childress (October 26, 1933 – May 5, 1986) was a running back in the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the Auburn Tigers.

College years

Childress was a two-time All-American at Auburn and was considered the finest fullback in the country during his junior and senior seasons. He led the Southeastern Conference in rushing and scoring his junior season in 1954 and was named the Gator Bowl MVP. Childress led Auburn with 1,677 yards rushing his senior season in 1955.[1]

Pro career

Childress was selected in the first round of the 1956 NFL Draft by the Chicago Cardinals. For his entire career, he played for the Chicago Cardinals and St. Louis Cardinals, primarily as a backup running back. He was known as an excellent receiver out of the backfield and a punishing blocker. His best season came in 1963 when he led the Cardinals in rushing and gained over 1000 yards from scrimmage while filling in for the injured John David Crow. His best rushing game came on September 22, 1963 when he gained 136 yards on 22 carries against the Philadelphia Eagles. Later in the season against the Eagles, he caught a 78-yard touchdown pass from Charley Johnson.[2]


Childress retired as a player from the NFL in 1966. He coached five seasons with the Houston Oilers and later went into the securities business. In his 40s, he contracted a type of cancer and began the battle which ultimately he lost in 1986 at the age of 52.[3]


  1. ^ "Joe Childress - Alabama Sports Hall of Fame". 2019-09-10. Retrieved 2022-07-31.
  2. ^ "Joe Childress Stats, Height, Weight, Position, Draft, College". Retrieved 2022-07-31.
  3. ^ "Childress dies at 52: Former Big Red star". The St. Louis Post Dispatch. 2022-05-07. pp. 6E. Retrieved 2022-07-31.