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Encyclopedia > Ernie Davis
Ernie Davis
Date of birth December 13, 1939
Place of birth Flag of United States New Salem, Pennsylvania
Date of death May 18, 1963
Position(s) Running back
College Syracuse
NFL Draft 1962 / Round 1/ Pick 1
Career Highlights
Awards 1961 Heisman Trophy
1961 Liberty Bowl MVP
1960 Cotton Bowl MVP
Honors College Football HOF
Retired #s Cleveland Browns #45
College Hall of Fame

Ernie Davis (December 13, 1939 - May 18, 1963) was an American Football player who became the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy. Davis competed collegiately for Syracuse University before being drafted by the Washington Redskins then almost immediately traded to the Cleveland Browns in December 1961. However, the running back would never play a professional game after developing leukemia in 1962. Image File history File links Edavis. ... December 13 is the 347th day of the year (348th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_States. ... New Salem-Buffington is a census-designated place located in Fayette County, Pennsylvania. ... May 18 is the 138th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (139th in leap years). ... 1963 (MCMLXIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (the link is to a full 1963 calendar). ... In American football, each team has 11 players on the field at one time. ... High school running back A running back, halfback, tailback or wingback is the position of a player on an American and Canadian football team who lines up in the offensive backfield. ... This is a list of athletic conferences of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). ... Syracuse University (SU) is a private research university located in Syracuse, New York. ... The NFL Draft (officially the NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting) is an annual sports draft in which National Football League (NFL) teams take turns selecting amateur college American football players and other first-time eligible players. ... The 1962 NFL Draft was held on December 4, 1961. ... John Cappellettis 1973 Heisman Trophy is part of an exhibit at the Penn State All-Sports Museum located at Beaver Stadium, on the campus of the Pennsylvania State University. ... For the stadium, see Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. ... For the Cotton Bowl stadium, see Cotton Bowl (stadium). ... The College Football Hall of Fame, located in South Bend, Indiana, United States, is a hall of fame devoted to college football. ... ... December 13 is the 347th day of the year (348th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1939 (MCMXXXIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... May 18 is the 138th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (139th in leap years). ... 1963 (MCMLXIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (the link is to a full 1963 calendar). ... United States simply as football, is a competitive team sport that is both fast-paced and strategic. ... An African American (also Afro-American or Black American) is a member of an ethnic group in the United States whose ancestors, usually in predominant part, were indigenous to Africa. ... John Cappellettis 1973 Heisman Trophy is part of an exhibit at the Penn State All-Sports Museum located at Beaver Stadium, on the campus of the Pennsylvania State University. ... Syracuse University (SU) is a private research university located in Syracuse, New York. ... City Landover, Maryland Other nicknames The Skins Team colors Burgundy and Gold Head Coach Joe Gibbs Owner Dan Snyder Fight song Hail to the Redskins League/Conference affiliations National Football League (1932–present) Eastern Division (1933-1949) American Conference (1950-1952) Eastern Conference (1953-1969) Capitol Division (1967-1969) National... ... 1961 (MCMLXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (the link is to a full 1961 calendar). ... High school running back A running back, halfback, tailback or wingback is the position of a player on an American and Canadian football team who lines up in the offensive backfield. ... Leukemia or leukaemia (see spelling differences) is a cancer of the blood or bone marrow and is characterized by an abnormal proliferation (production by multiplication) of blood cells, usually white blood cells (leukocytes). ... 1962 (MCMLXII) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar). ...

Contents

Early life

Born and raised near Pittsburgh [1], Ernie was born into the poverty of the coal-belt. His father and mother separated shortly before his dad was slain in an accident. Raised in the nearby Pittsburgh industrial center of Uniontown by his grandparents, Davis moved to Elmira, New York for high school with his mom and new stepfather. At the city's Free Academy, his talents on the football field garnered him the nickname, the "Elmira Express." From there, he went on to gain national fame at Syracuse for three seasons (1959-1961), twice winning first-team All-American honors. He remains the only Syracuse player ever to win the Heisman. City nickname: The Steel City Location in the state of Pennsylvania Founded 1758 Mayor Tom Murphy (Dem) Area  - Total  - Water 151. ... Uniontown is a city in Fayette County, Pennsylvania, 50 miles (80 km) south by east of Pittsburgh. ...


College career

As a sophomore in 1959, Davis led Syracuse to the NCAA Division I-A national football championship, capping an undefeated season with a 23-14 win over Texas in the Cotton Bowl. Ernie was voted Most Valuable Player of the 1960 Cotton Bowl and the 1961 Liberty Bowl. Year 1959 (MCMLIX) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... The Bear Bryant Trophy, the AP national championship trophy Division I-A football is the only NCAA-sponsored sport without an organized tournament to determine its champion. ... For the Cotton Bowl stadium, see Cotton Bowl (stadium). ... 1960 (MCMLX) was a leap year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1960 calendar). ... For the Cotton Bowl stadium, see Cotton Bowl (stadium). ... 1961 (MCMLXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (the link is to a full 1961 calendar). ... For the stadium, see Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium. ...


Davis found racism still prevalent in the Deep South during his Cotton Bowl visit. At the banquet following the game, Davis was told he could only accept his award, then leave the hotel. Davis refused and his teammates boycotted the banquet. For the Cotton Bowl stadium, see Cotton Bowl (stadium). ...


Ernie Davis was awarded the Heisman Trophy for the 1961 season, which was his senior year at Syracuse University. It is interesting to note that Syracuse has had one national championship in football and one Heisman trophy winner, and Ernie Davis was responsible for both titles. John Cappellettis 1973 Heisman Trophy is part of an exhibit at the Penn State All-Sports Museum located at Beaver Stadium, on the campus of the Pennsylvania State University. ...


Pro Football career

Davis was the first player taken in the 1962 NFL Draft, thus becoming the first African American to be taken 1st overall. Selected by the Washington Redskins, who then traded his rights to the Browns. However, the organization's dream of pairing Davis with Jim Brown in the backfield took a tragic turn when Davis was diagnosed with leukemia during preparations for the 1962 College All-Star Game. 1962 (MCMLXII) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar). ... The NFL Draft (officially the NFL Annual Player Selection Meeting) is an annual sports draft in which National Football League (NFL) teams take turns selecting amateur college American football players and other first-time eligible players. ... James Nathaniel Jim Brown (born February 17, 1936) is a retired American professional football player who has also made his mark as an actor and social activist. ... Leukemia or leukaemia (see spelling differences) is a cancer of the blood or bone marrow and is characterized by an abnormal proliferation (production by multiplication) of blood cells, usually white blood cells (leukocytes). ... 1962 (MCMLXII) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar). ... The College All-Star Game was a preseason American football game played annually (except in 1974) from 1934 to 1976 between the National Football League champions and a team of star college seniors from the previous year. ...


Davis would never play a game as a professional, with his only appearance at Cleveland Stadium coming during a 1962 preseason game in which he ran onto the field as a spotlight followed him. Following his death, the Browns retired Davis' number, 45. Cleveland Stadium (also known as Municipal Stadium, Cleveland Municipal Stadium and The Mistake on (or by) the Lake) was a baseball and American football stadium located in Cleveland, Ohio. ... 1962 (MCMLXII) was a common year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1962 calendar). ...


Davis was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1979. During his time at Syracuse, Davis wore the same number 44 as Syracuse University alumnus Jim Brown, helping to establish a tradition at the school that was acknowledged on November 12, 2005, when the school retired the number in an on-field ceremony. The College Football Hall of Fame, located in South Bend, Indiana, United States, is a hall of fame devoted to college football. ... For the song by The Smashing Pumpkins, see 1979 (song). ... Syracuse University (SU) is a private research university located in Syracuse, New York. ... James Nathaniel Jim Brown (born February 17, 1936) is a retired American professional football player who has also made his mark as an actor and social activist. ...

Preceded by
Joe Bellino
Heisman Trophy Winner
1961
Succeeded by
Terry Baker

Joseph Bellino (born March 13, 1938 in Winchester, Massachusetts) is a former Heisman Trophy-winning American football player. ... John Cappellettis 1973 Heisman Trophy is part of an exhibit at the Penn State All-Sports Museum located at Beaver Stadium, on the campus of the Pennsylvania State University. ... Terry Wayne Baker (born May 5, 1941 in Pine River, MN) is a former quarterback for the Oregon State University football team. ...

Death

In the summer of 1962, Ernie Davis was diagnosed with leukemia and began receiving medical treatment. The disease was incurable, and he died in Cleveland Lakeside Hospital the following year at age 23. He was waked in The Neighborhood House in Elmira, New York, where more than 10,000 mourners paid their respects. Ernie Davis is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery, Elmira, Chemung County, New York. Leukemia or leukaemia (see spelling differences) is a cancer of the blood or bone marrow and is characterized by an abnormal proliferation (production by multiplication) of blood cells, usually white blood cells (leukocytes). ... Elmira is the name of some places in the United States of America and Canada: Elmira, California Elmira, Michigan Elmira, New York Elmira, Ontario This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... NY redirects here. ... Located in The Bronx, Woodlawn Cemetery is one of the largest cemeteries in New York City. ... Chemung County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. ...


External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Pages in the History of Elmira | Ernie Davis: the "Elmira Express" (1026 words)
Ernie Davis moved to Elmira, New York at the age of 12.
Ernie was born on December 14, 1939 in New Salem, Pennsylvania.
However, in 1961, Ernie Davis' receipt of the esteemed award was historical and unprecedented.
Printable Version (1082 words)
Ol' Ernie was drafted by the Cleveland Browns, whose master plan was to pair him in the same backfield with another Syracuse running back, a 230-pound hulk with a 32-inch waist by the name of Jim Brown.
Ernie's ghost kind of snuck up on me 10 years later, when I was a kid with an insatiable appetite for any sports books I could find in the library of St. Rita's Elementary School.
Davis was a young man who once gave his Syracuse teammates a rousing pep talk and then stayed behind in the locker room to help lace on the shoulder pads of some third-team scrub.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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