Wally Hilgenberg

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Wally Hilgenberg
Born:September 19, 1942
Marshalltown, Iowa
Died:September 23, 2008(2008-09-23) (aged 66)
Lakeville, Minnesota
Career information
NFL draft1964 / Round: 4 / Pick 48
Career history
As player
1964–1967Detroit Lions
1968–1979Minnesota Vikings
Career highlights and awards

Walter Hilgenberg (September 19, 1942 – September 23, 2008) was a professional American football player.

Hilgenberg was born in Marshalltown, Iowa. His family moved to Wilton (then known as Wilton Junction) where he grew up and graduated from Wilton High School.[1] He attended the University of Iowa, where he starred on both sides of the line of scrimmage, as a linebacker and as a guard. He played 16 seasons in the National Football League, with the Detroit Lions and Minnesota Vikings.

In 1964, he was drafted in the fourth round by the Lions. In 1968, he was traded from the Lions to the Pittsburgh Steelers, but was waived before ever playing a game in Pittsburgh. After being waived by the Steelers, Hilgenberg was picked up off waivers by the Vikings, for whom he played until he retired after the 1979 season.[2] During that time, he was one of 11 players to play in all four of the Vikings' Super Bowl appearances (Super Bowl IV, Super Bowl VIII, Super Bowl IX, Super Bowl XI).[3]

Hilgenberg's daughter Kristi was Miss Minnesota Teen USA 1998.[3]

Hilgenberg's grandson, Luke, was a linebacker for the Iowa Hawkeyes.[4]

Hilgenberg died on September 23, 2008, after battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's disease [2] for several years.

After his death, brain dissection found advanced CTE which mimics many ALS symptoms.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Wally Hilgenberg, Wilton Junction, 1987". Des Moines Register. June 27, 2005. Retrieved November 30, 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Ex-Vikings linebacker Hilgenberg dies at 66". Star Tribune. September 23, 2008. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Former Vikings linebacker Hilgenberg dies of Lou Gehrig's disease". KARE. September 24, 2008. Retrieved July 15, 2010.
  4. ^ http://www.hawkeyesports.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/luke_lindahl_846900.html