Ron Burton
No. 22
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born:(1936-07-25)July 25, 1936
Springfield, Ohio
Died:September 13, 2003(2003-09-13) (aged 67)
Framingham, Massachusetts
Height:5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight:190 lb (86 kg)
Career information
High school:Springfield (OH)
NFL Draft:1960 / Round: 1 / Pick: 9
AFL Draft:1960 / Round: 1
Pick: First Selections
(by the Boston Patriots)
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career AFL statistics
Player stats at · PFR

Ronald E. Burton (July 25, 1936 – September 13, 2003) was an American football player in the American Football League (AFL) for the Boston Patriots. He was a consensus All-American running back at Northwestern University, and is a member of the Northwestern Hall of Fame and College Football Hall of Fame.

Playing career

Northwestern Wildcats

Burton was a star on Ara Parseghian's late 1950s Northwestern Wildcats football teams. Named all-Big Ten in 1958 and 1959, and All-America in 1959, Burton left Northwestern having broken school records for most points in a career (130), most points in a season (76), most touchdowns in a career (21). Burton led Northwestern in all-purpose yards in 1957, 1958, and 1959. Burton finished 10th in the 1959 Heisman Trophy balloting.[1]

Boston Patriots

Burton was the Boston Patriots' first-ever American Football League draft choice in 1960. He was the first Patriot to rush for over 100 yards: 127 against the Denver Broncos on October 23, 1960, as well as numerous other firsts for the Patriots.[2] His 91-yard touchdown return on a missed field goal in 1962 remains a Patriot record. He compiled 1,009 combined yards in rushing and receiving in 1962, and provided strong depth at running back for the Patriots from 1960 through 1965.

Statistics: Ron Burton Sr. New England (Boston) Patriots 1960-1965

All-Time Leader in Punt Returns(Based on return yardage)Years: 1960-’65 NO: 56 FC: 0 YDS: 389AVG: 6.9 LG 62 TD: 0

Year-by-Year Leader in Punt ReturnsYear: 1965 NO: 15 YDS: 61 AVG: 4.1 LG 12 TD: 0

Year-by-Year Leader in RushingYear: 1962 ATT: 134 YDS: 548 AVG: 4.0 LG: 59 TD: 2

Personal life

His sons are Ron Burton Jr., a director of community relations for the Red Sox, Paul Burton, a reporter for WBZ-TV, and Steve Burton who is the Sports Director for WBZ-TV in Boston and a frequent guest on WEEI-FM sports radio. His granddaughter, Veronica, plays basketball for the Dallas Wings of the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA).

In 2003, Burton died from multiple myeloma. At the time of his death, he was living in Framingham, Middlesex County, Massachusetts.[3][4][5]

See also


  1. ^ "1959 Heisman Trophy Voting".
  2. ^ "The New England Patriots". Archived from the original on November 3, 2014. Retrieved November 3, 2014.
  3. ^ "Ronald e. Burton Obituary (2003) Boston Globe".
  4. ^ Social Security Death Index Search Results
  5. ^ "United States Social Security Death Index," database, FamilySearch ( : May 20, 2014), Ronald E Burton, September 13, 2003; citing U.S. Social Security Administration, Death Master File, database (Alexandria, Virginia: National Technical Information Service, ongoing).