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Larry Grantham
refer to caption
Grantham in 1963
No. 60
Personal information
Born:(1938-09-16)September 16, 1938
Crystal Springs, Mississippi, U.S.
Died:June 17, 2017(2017-06-17) (aged 78)
Jackson, Mississippi, U.S.
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:210 lb (95 kg)
Career information
High school:Crystal Springs (MS)
College:Ole Miss
NFL Draft:1960 / Round: 15 / Pick: 178
AFL Draft:1960 / Round: 2
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played:175
Player stats at · PFR

James Larry Grantham (September 16, 1938 – June 17, 2017) was an American collegiate and professional football player.


A member of the Ole Miss Athletic Hall of Fame, he was a linebacker at the University of Mississippi who came to the American Football League's New York Titans in the 1960 college draft and helped form the backbone of a New York Jets defense that reached the playoffs in 1968 and 1969, and in 1968 captured the AFL Championship and the World Championship, over the NFL's Baltimore Colts. Therein Grantham's team, with him as a starter throughout, went from being the worst team in an upstart league (the AFL) to World Champions in just nine years.[1]

From his right outside linebacker spot, Grantham wrought havoc on opposing offenses. He recorded 24 interceptions, with his most being five in 1960 and 1967. Unofficially, he also had 38.5 sacks in his career. In a ten year span from his rookie year in 1960 to 1969, he was named an All-Pro eight times, with five of them being first-team, and he was named to the All-Star team five times. He was selected to the Second-team of the American Football League All-Time Team.

He is one of only twenty players to have competed in the American Football League for its entire ten-year existence, and one of only seven AFL players to have played their entire careers in one city. Grantham was also named the 1971 New York Jets MVP.

He played one last season in 1974 for the Florida Blazers of the start-up World Football League. The Blazers made it to World Bowl 1, losing to the Birmingham Americans.

The Professional Football Researchers Association named Grantham to the PRFA Hall of Very Good Class of 2014 [2]


Grantham died on June 17, 2017 from complications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.[3] He was 78.

See also


  1. ^ Chastain, Bill (2014). 100 Things Jets Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die. Triumph Books. p. 36. ISBN 9781629370002. Retrieved February 18, 2016.
  2. ^ "Professional Researchers Association Hall of Very Good Class of 2014". Archived from the original on March 13, 2019. Retrieved November 10, 2016.
  3. ^ Litsky, Frank (June 19, 2017). "Larry Grantham, Defensive Captain of Champion Jets, Dies at 78". The New York Times.