Is Ernie Davis Living or Dead?

Has Player of American football Ernie Davis died? Or is he still alive?

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Player of American football

Ernie Davis is ...

Born 14 Dec 1939 in New Salem-Buffington
Died 18 May 1963 in Cleveland
Age23 years, 5 months
Height1.88m (6 ft, 2 in)
Ernie Davis
Ernie Davis
Ernie Davis Middle School at Elmira, NY

About Ernie Davis

Ernest Davis (December 14, 1939 – May 18, 1963) was an American football player, a halfback who won the Heisman Trophy in 1961 and was its first African-American winner. Davis played college football for Syracuse University and was the first pick in the 1962 NFL Draft. Selected by the Washington Redskins of the National Football League (NFL) in December 1961, he was then almost immediately traded to the Cleveland Browns and issued number 45. Davis was diagnosed with leukemia in the summer of 1962, and died less than a year later at age 23, without ever playing in a professional game. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1979, and was the subject of the 2008 Universal Pictures film The Express, based on the non-fiction book Ernie Davis: The Elmira Express, by Robert C. Gallagher.


While preparing to play in the College All-Star Game against the Green Bay Packers in Chicago in the summer of 1962, Davis awoke with a swollen neck and was hospitalized, with mumps or mononucleosis initially suspected. He was diagnosed with acute monocytic leukemia and began receiving medical treatment. Davis went to Johns Hopkins in Baltimore when he was dying, three months after being diagnosed and through chemical treatments experienced a four to five month remission. That was the time that the controversy between Paul Brown and Art Modell took place. The disease was incurable and Davis died at age 23 at Cleveland Lakeside Hospital on May 18, 1963.

Both houses of the United States Congress eulogized Davis, and a wake was held at The Neighborhood House in Elmira, New York, where more than 10,000 mourners paid their respects. During the funeral, a message was received from President Kennedy, and was read aloud to all of the people attending the service. Davis is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Elmira. His commemorative statue now stands in front of the school named in his honor, Ernie Davis Academy. Another statue of Davis stands on the campus of Syracuse University, near the steps of Hendricks Chapel and the Quad where pre-game pep rallies are held. He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in the fall of 2008, coinciding with the premiere of The Express and the beginning of construction of Ernie Davis Hall, a Syracuse dormitory.