Jordan (far right) with the Packers in Super Bowl I
|Date of birth:||January 26, 1935|
|Place of birth:||Emporia, Virginia|
|Date of death:||February 21, 1977(aged 42)|
|Place of death:||Milwaukee, Wisconsin|
|Height:||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight:||248 lb (112 kg)|
|High school:||Newport News (VA) Warwick|
|NFL Draft:||1957 / Round: 5 / Pick: 52|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
Henry Wendell Jordan (January 26, 1935 – February 21, 1977) was an American football defensive tackle for the Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers during his thirteen-year National Football League (NFL) career. He played in the NFL from 1957 to 1969 and is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Born in Emporia, Virginia, Jordan graduated from Warwick High School in Newport News in 1953. He played college football at the University of Virginia, where he was the captain of the football team as a senior. Jordan was also an All-American wrestler, the ACC champion and NCAA runner-up in 1957. He was a member of the Beta Chapter of Sigma Nu fraternity at UVA.
Jordan was selected in the fifth round of the 1957 NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns, who traded him two years later to the Green Bay Packers prior to Vince Lombardi's first season for a fourth round draft choice. At Green Bay, Jordan was elected to four Pro Bowls (1960, 1961, 1963, and 1966), and he was the Pro Bowl MVP in 1961. Jordan was All-NFL six times, and he was a defensive leader on a Green Bay Packers team that won five of six NFL title games in eight seasons and won the first two Super Bowls.
A tenacious competitor on the field, Jordan was the vibrant and jovial wit among Lombardi's Packers, and was highly regarded by his teammates. Highly quotable, his outgoing personality put him in demand as an after-dinner speaker.
Jordan retired at age 35 in February 1970, after an injury-filled 1969 season. He relocated south to Milwaukee to create and oversee Summerfest. In 1974, Jordan was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame.
Seven years later, Jordan died at age 42 of a heart attack after jogging on February 21, 1977. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1995. He is survived by his wife Olive, and three children: Henry Jr., Theresa, and Suzanne. He was represented in the coin toss ceremony at Super Bowl XXIX by former teammate Ray Nitschke, who was also named to the NFL's 75th Anniversary team. The ceremony brought together former NFL stars of the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s, with surviving members of that year's Hall of Fame class representing the latter decade (one of them, then-Congressman Steve Largent flipped the coin on their behalf).
The athletic field at Warwick High School was named in his honor in 2000. In May 2009, he was named to the Hampton Roads Sports Hall of Fame, which honors athletes, coaches and administrators who contributed to sports in southeastern Virginia.
- Lea, Bud (January 30, 1995). "Fun-loving Jordan deserved Hall niche". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 6B.
- "Seven Virginia Cavaliers Selected to the Atlantic Coast Conference 50th Anniversary Wrestling Team". University of Virginia Athletics. August 15, 2002. Retrieved February 21, 2016.
- Hofmann, Dale (February 22, 1977). "Jordan's death real shocker". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 1, part 2.
- Lea, Bud (February 22, 1977). "Henry Jordan looked at the light side". Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 1, part 2.
- "Henry Jordan is dead of apparent heart attack". Argus Press. Owosso, Michigan. Associated Press. February 22, 1977. p. 16.
- "All-pro Henry Jordan dies". Ellensburg Daily Record. Washington. UPI. February 22, 1977. p. 6.
- Johnson, Chuck (April 2, 1961). "Praise from teammate". Milwaukee Journal. p. 3, sports.
- "Packers lose Henry Jordan". Pittsburgh Press. UPI. February 3, 1970. p. 31.
- "Henry Jorday dies at 42". Milwaukee Sentinel. February 22, 1977. p. 1, part 1.
- "Rites today for Jordan". Milwaukee Sentinel. February 23, 1977. p. 2, part 2.