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Renown NFL Hall of Fame of Steelers Franco Harris Died at Age 72

Franco Harris, the legendary running back who scored arguably the greatest touchdown in NFL history, has passed away at the age of 72.

Franco Harris died just two days before the 50th anniversary of the “Immaculate Reception,” his game-winning touchdown that pushed the 1970s Steelers to their first postseason victory, which is widely recognized as one of the NFL’s most iconic plays.

What Was the Reason for Franco Harris’s Death?

Jim Porter, president of the Professional Football Hall of Fame, issued a statement to WTAE “We have lost a tremendous football player, an incredible Hall of Fame ambassador, and most importantly, one of the best guys anyone could meet. Franco influenced not only the sport of football but also the lives of many individuals in profoundly beneficial ways.

Renown NFL Hall of Fame of Steelers Franco Harris Died at Age 72

The source reportedly reported that Franco’s cause of death “was not immediately known.” Dok, Franco’s son, informed the Associated Press that his father died “overnight,” but he did not specify the cause.

After playing college football at Penn State, Harris was taken in the first round of the 1972 NFL draught by the Steelers. During the regular season, he was selected the league’s rookie of the year, but it was during the playoffs that Harris became a legend.

The Steelers had qualified for the playoffs for the first time in 25 years, but they trailed the Raiders 7-6 late in the fourth quarter of their opening-round playoff game, and it appeared like their postseason would be cut short.

Terry Bradshaw sent a throw to John “Frenchy” Fuqua in the final seconds of the game, but the pass was intercepted by Raiders safety Jack Tatum or John “Frenchy” Fuqua, and Harris scored the game-winning touchdown by snatching the ball just before it struck the ground.

Franco is best known for his extraordinary performance against Oakland in the 1972 playoffs when he elected to continue running while everyone else on the field stopped. It was the first postseason victory for the Steelers in four decades and was termed the “immaculate reception.” Franco was a member of the Steelers from 1972 to 1983.

The incredible performance catapulted Franco’s football career into the stratosphere, and he played for the Pittsburgh Steelers for 12 years and the Seattle Seahawks for one year before retiring.

After retiring from football, Franco opened a bakery and moved to philanthropy, serving as chairman of Pittsburgh Promise, an organization that offers college tuition possibilities to Pittsburgh public school students. Their wife, Dana Dokmanovich, and his son, Dok, survive him.


Why did Franco Harris leave the Steelers?

In 1984, Harris was released by the Steelers due to a contract dispute. Before being released, he signed with the Seahawks and gained 170 yards in eight games.

Did Franco Harris make the Hall of Fame?

Harris was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame with the Class of 1990, and his acceptance speech reflected the type of player and teammate he was by focusing on others.

What company does Franco Harris own?

At the time, Franco Harris acquired Parks sausages one of the oldest Black-owned businesses in the United States, producing sausage.