Football Hall of Famer and former safety for the Green Bay Packers, Willie Wood died in Washington D.C. on Monday, Feb. 3, 2020, according to a statement from his team. He was 83 years old.
As a player for the Packers, Wood won two Super Bowls. He was a safety for Green Bay from 1960 to 1971.
“The Green Bay Packers Family lost a legend today with the passing of Willie Wood. Willie’s success story, rising from an undrafted rookie free agent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, is an inspiration to generations of football fans,” stated Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy.
Wood had been living in assisted living centers for 13 years before he passed away. He suffered from an advanced stage of dementia for almost 10 years, according to the team statement. Wood is survived by a daughter and two sons.
Murphy said, “While his health challenges kept him from returning to Lambeau Field in recent years, his alumni weekend visits were cherished by both Willie and our fans. We extend our deepest condolences to Willie’s family and friends.”
When Wood was a rookie free agent, he was picked up by Green Bay after sending postcards to multiple NFL teams in 1960 asking for a tryout.
For five years, Wood was named the Associated Press All-Pro team and was chosen for the Pro Bowl eight times. Additionally, he was named the NFL’s 1960s All-Decade Team, and he was chosen for the Super Bowl Silver Anniversary Team in 1990.
In 1989, after winning five NFL titles, Wood was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
In a statement, Hall of Fame President and CEO David Baker said, “The Game has lost a true Legend with the passing of Willie Wood. He had an unbelievable football career which helped transform Green Bay, Wisconsin into Titletown U.S.A. Willie was a rare player who always fought to be a great teammate and achieve success. He entered the League as an undrafted free agent and became one of the greatest to ever play the Game. The Hall of Fame will forever keep his legacy alive to serve as an inspiration to future generations.”
According to the statement, the Hall of Fame flag at the museum will be flown at half-staff in memory of Wood.
CNN: Willie Wood, former Packers safety and Hall of Famer, dies at 83
CBS Sports: Packers legend, Pro Football Hall of Fame safety Willie Wood dis at age 83
Green Bay Packers: Former Packers safety Willie Wood dies at 83
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