Sonny Gandee

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Sonny Gandee
No. 85
Position: Linebacker, defensive end
Personal information
Date of birth: (1929-02-27)February 27, 1929
Place of birth: Akron, Ohio
Date of death: July 21, 2013(2013-07-21) (aged 84)
Place of death: Michigan
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight: 216 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High school: Garfield High School (Akron, OH)
College: Ohio State
NFL Draft: 1952 / Round: 9 / Pick: 106
(By the Detroit Lions)
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 53
Games started: 0
Fumble recoveries: 11
Interceptions: 4
Touchdowns: 1
Safeties: 1
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Sherwin Kenneth "Sonny" Gandee, Sr. (February 27, 1929 – July 21, 2013) was a professional American football linebacker and defensive lineman. After playing college football for Ohio State, Gandee was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 1952 NFL Draft. He played for five seasons in the National Football League (NFL) for the Dallas Texans in two games during the 1952 season and for the Detroit Lions in 51 games from 1952 to 1957. He was a member of the Lions' 1952, 1953 and 1957 teams that won NFL championships.

Early years[edit]

Gandee was born in 1929 in Akron, Ohio, and attended that city's Garfield High School.[1] His father, Sherman Gandee, was a deputy sheriff in Summit County, Ohio.[2] He had a twin brother, Sherman "Joe" Gandee, Jr.[3]

College football[edit]

Gandee attended Ohio State University and played college football as an end for the Ohio State Buckeyes football team in 1948, 1950, and 1951. He missed the 1949 season after sustaining a chipped vertebrae in his neck during a pre-season scrimmage.[4] At the end of his senior season, he was selected to play in the 1951 East–West Shrine Game.[5] He also played in the 1952 Senior Bowl.[6]

Professional football[edit]

Gandee was selected by the Detroit Lions in the ninth round (106th overall) of the 1952 NFL Draft.[1] He appeared in two games for the Dallas Texans and eight games for the Lions during the 1952 season. He remained with the Lions through the 1956 season and played on the club's NFL championship teams in 1952 and 1953.[1]

Family and later years[edit]

Gandee and his wife, Marilyn [Grecni] Gandee were married in 1949. they had a son and a daughter. After his first wife died in 2008, he was remarried to Jo Burgett-Arno.[3]

After retiring from football, Gandee operated a restaurant in Wyandotte, Michigan, known as "Sonny Grandee's Celebrity House". He also worked in the automotive industry. He lived in Wyandotte for over 50 years and later lived in Gibraltar and Grosse Ile, Michigan.[3]

Gandee died in 2013 in Grosse Ile at age 84.[7]


  1. ^ a b c "Sonny Gandee NFL Football Statistics". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 14, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Prisoner Shot Down in Cutting". The Sandusky Register. February 13, 1951. p. 1 – via  open access publication – free to read
  3. ^ a b c "Former Lion Sherwin "Sonny" Gandee Dies at 84". Detroit Lions. August 6, 2013. 
  4. ^ "Buckeyes Lose Sonny Gandee". The Marysville (OH) Tribune. September 13, 1949. p. 8 – via  open access publication – free to read
  5. ^ "Janowicz and Gandee To Play In East-West". The Evening Review (OH). November 27, 1951. p. 12 – via  open access publication – free to read
  6. ^ "Senior Bowl Won By Yankees 20-6". The Daily Times (OH). January 7, 1952. p. 6 – via  open access publication – free to read
  7. ^ "SHERWIN, SR. "SONNY" GANDEE Obituary » Michigan Death Notices » from". 2013-07-21. Retrieved 2013-07-30.