Jim Vellone

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Jim Vellone
Date of birth: (1944-08-20)August 20, 1944
Place of birth: United States Camp Lejeune, North Carolina
Date of death: August 21, 1977
Career information
Position(s): Guard
College: Southern California
NFL Draft: 1966 / Round:
As player:
1966-1970 Minnesota Vikings
Career stats
Playing stats at DatabaseFootball.com

James Carl "Jim" Vellone (August 20, 1944 - August 21, 1977) was a guard in the National Football League. Vellone spent his entire five-year career for the Minnesota Vikings, starting in most of his appearances during this span. Vellone helped the Vikings win the 1969 NFL Championship and also started in Super Bowl IV, the first Super Bowl appearance for the Vikings franchise. Vellone's career and life were cut short due to Hodgkin's lymphoma.

College career[edit]

Before he joined the pro leagues, Vellone played college football for two years at the University of Southern California. Prior to joining the USC Trojans, Vellone was a Junior College All-American guard at Cerritos College.[1] For two seasons while in Minnesota (1968–1969), Vellone was a teammate of offensive tackle Ron Yary, who likewise was a star lineman at Cerritos College and at USC.


Jim Vellone abruptly retired from the NFL in 1971 when he discovered he had Hodgkin's lymphoma.[2] He spent the final six years of his life undergoing treatments and chemotherapy. Although managing to live a normal life for some time, Vellone finally succumbed to the cancerous disease on August 21, 1977, a day after his 33rd birthday, at St. Joseph's Hospital in Orange, California. According to a brief article in the St. Petersburg Times (Fla.) newspaper two days after his death, friends had said that Vellone had checked into St. Joseph's due to breathing problems.[3]

Jim Vellone left behind a wife, Linda, and two sons.


  1. ^ "The Evening Independent (St. Petersburg, Fla.), Aug. 22, 1977". 
  2. ^ "Herald-Journal (Spartanburg Herald), Aug. 23, 1977". 
  3. ^ ""Hodgkin's disease fatal to Vellone." St. Petersburg Times, Aug. 23, 1977". 

External links[edit]