Lionel Aldridge

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Lionel Aldridge
No. 82
Position: Defensive end
Personal information
Born: (1941-02-14)February 14, 1941
Evergreen, Louisiana
Died: February 12, 1998(1998-02-12) (aged 56)
Shorewood, Wisconsin
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight: 254 lb (115 kg)
Career information
High school: Pittsburg (CA)
College: Utah State
NFL Draft: 1963 / Round: 4 / Pick: 54
AFL draft: 1963 / Round: 6 / Pick: 47
(By the Houston Oilers)
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 147
Games started: 58
Touchdowns: 1
Player stats at

Lionel Aldridge (February 14, 1941 – February 12, 1998) was an American professional football player,[1] a defensive end in the National Football League for eleven seasons with the Green Bay Packers and San Diego Chargers.[2][3]

Early years[edit]

Born in Evergreen, Louisiana, Aldridge was raised by his sharecropper grandparents.[4] After his grandfather's death when Aldridge was fifteen, he was sent to live with a steelworker uncle in northern California and played high school football at Pittsburg High School.[5] He earned an athletic scholarship and played college football at Utah State University in Logan,[6] and was a co-captain of the team and an All-Skyline Conference tackle.

NFL career[edit]

Aldridge was selected in fourth round of the 1963 NFL draft, 54th overall, by the two-time defending NFL champion Green Bay Packers. One of the few rookies to start for head coach Vince Lombardi, he enjoyed an eleven-year NFL career.[7] As a Packer, he played a role in their unprecedented three straight NFL Championships (1965-66-67) and victories in Super Bowls I and II.[8] Traded to the San Diego Chargers, Aldridge played two seasons in San Diego before retiring from professional football in 1973.[1]

After football[edit]

After retiring, Aldridge worked as sports analyst at WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee and for Packers radio and NBC until manifesting paranoid schizophrenia in the late 1970s.[9][10][2] Homeless for a time in part due to misdiagnosis,[8][11][12] he eventually reached a form of equilibrium. He became an advocate for the homeless and the mentally ill until his death in 1998.[13][14] His advocacy work included serving as a board member for the Mental Health Association of Milwaukee and working as a speaker for the National Alliance on Mental Illness.[15]


  1. ^ a b Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. New York: HarperCollins, 1999. 553.
  2. ^ a b Eskenazi, Gerald (February 14, 1998). "Lionel Aldridge, 56, stalwart on defense for Packer teams". New York Times. Retrieved February 20, 2016. 
  3. ^ Hendricks, Martin (June 23, 2009). "Bright career clouded by tragic decline". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved February 20, 2016. 
  4. ^ Magner, Howie (December 30, 2014). "The long walk home". Milwaukee magazine. Retrieved February 20, 2016. 
  5. ^ Schaap, Dick (March 1, 1987). "How Lionel Aldridge defeated mental illness". Parade. p. 8. 
  6. ^ Yeomans, Jay (May 5, 2014). "The 25 most highly drafted football players from Utah State". Deseret News. Salt Lake City, Utah. 
  7. ^ "Lionel Aldridge". Retrieved 2012-08-10. 
  8. ^ a b Clark, Steve. "Lost and found - Ex-Packer Aldridge winning life's battle". Beloit Daily News. Retrieved 2012-08-10. 
  9. ^ Begel, Dave (December 3, 1980). "Agony, ecstasy". Milwaukee Journal. p. 17, part 2. 
  10. ^ Ritter, Malcolm (December 17, 1988). "Schizophrenia: one man's struggle for life against the destruction of his personality". Idahonian. Moscow. Associated Press. p. 4B. 
  11. ^ Oates, Bob (October 10, 1987). "Lionel Akdridge: a long journey and happy days". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 20, 2016. 
  12. ^ Kramer, Jerry; Schaap, Dick (October 24, 1985). "Aldridge lost, found". Milwaukee Journal. (Distant Replay). p. 1, part 3. 
  13. ^ "Former Packer Lionel Aldridge dies at 56". Free Lance-Star. Fredericksburg, Virginia. Associated Press. February 13, 1998. p. C10. 
  14. ^ Kissinger, Meg (February 17, 1998). "Friends remember the strength of Aldridge's spirit". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. p. 9B. 
  15. ^ "Celebrity Meltdown". Psychology Today. 32 (6): 46–49, 70. December 1999. 

External links[edit]