1984: Flutie | Davis was a member of The Pigskin Club of Washington, D.C. National Intercollegiate All-American Football Players Honor. 1988: Sanders |

If you are having trouble, click Save Image As and rename the file to meet the character requirement and try again. The three got up to leave and when the teammates found out, they wanted to leave too, but were told that it would only cause a bigger problem, so they stayed. 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. His athletic ability, perseverance and hard work came in to the limelight after becoming the first African American to have been awarded the Heisman Trophy. Everybody loved him. 2007: Tebow | 2009: Ingram | 1941: B. Smith |

Newton, 1935: Berwanger | Following his death, the Browns retired his number 45 jersey. 1963: Staubach | © 2020 NFL Enterprises LLC. Mr. Davis may be viewed from 9 am-1 pm, Thursday at Robinson Funeral Home. Related story. "I want people to know you can excel in your profession, entertainment or sports, and you can also be a gentleman," she said. 1952: Vessels | NFL and the NFL shield design are registered trademarks of the National Football League.The team names, logos and uniform designs are registered trademarks of the teams indicated. Davis was posthumously inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1979. He was diagnosed with acute monocytic leukemia and began receiving medical treatment. Davis ended up following Brown to Syracuse.

"The PA announcer said, 'Here is another member of the Browns' offensive team, No. Syracuse coach Ben Schwartzwalder was a frequent visitor, but it took the help of Jim Brown, a former Syracuse star who already was with the Cleveland Browns, to get Davis to attend Syracuse.

Like when he overcame racial insults and in-the-pile punches and pinches by Texas players in his dazzling 1960 Cotton Bowl appearance that earned unbeaten Syracuse a national championship.

In 2011, rival schools Southside High School (Elmira, New York) and Elmira Free Academy combined their athletic teams, which together were renamed the Elmira Express, named after Ernie Davis. "I want people to know you can excel in your profession, entertainment or sports, and you can also be a gentleman," she said. Ernest Davis commonly referred to as “Ernie” by friends and colleagues, was an American football halfback who passed away at the mere age of 23 due to complications from leukemia. While he never played in his freshman year, he was known to be quite thrilling to watch in practice sessions. Pages using duplicate arguments in template calls, National Football League first overall draft picks, Players of American football from Pennsylvania, Syracuse Orange #44 (along with Jim Brown & Floyd Little), NCAA Division I-A national football championship, 'syracuse.com' Mother of Ernie Davis, Marie Fleming, has passed away in Elmira; her funeral is Saturday, May 8, 2008.

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.


1973: Cappelletti | He handled things without ever selling out. Born in New Salem, Pennsylvania on December 14, 1939, Davis was a popular athlete in his school and college years. 1951: Kazmaier |

1964: Huarte | For 45 years, nearly twice as long as Davis lived, his legend held strong among friends, acquaintances, fans and family members. I'm sure there were a lot of people that were around that told their kids.". "Excuse me, I'm sorry," he said. 2000: Weinke | 44 and was a three-time All-American. Selected by the Washington Redskins, his rights were then traded to the Cleveland Browns for Bobby Mitchell and a first-round draft choice. He died May 18, 1963… The nation has bestowed upon you its highest awards for your athletic achievements. At any rate, it was a whopping figure for that era. 1998: Williams | [14] He openly admitted that his unwillingness to sign a black player was an effort to appeal to his mostly Southern fan base (they had been the southernmost team in the league for a quarter century).

He has since been elected for the 2008 College Hall of Fame and has had several statues and buildings constructed in his name. NFL footage © NFL Productions LLC.

", Said John Brown: "Oh man, that night. Ten months later, on May 18, 1963, Ernie Davis died of leukemia at 23 as football fans across the nation mourned. 1996: Wuerffel | Though Davis' cleats never churned a football field again, he did set foot on the field at Cleveland Stadium in what Modell -- and those who were there -- will tell you was one of the most memorable nights in Browns lore. According to an article in the Houston Chronicle, all the players from the game attended the banquet. 1969: Owens | Ernie was united in marriage to Iona Brockelsberg in 1934. He was given Brown's No. I wanted him, hoped for him, to be able to run one doggone kickoff back. To plant a tree in memory of Ernie Davis, please visit. Davis finished his college career with an astounding 2,386 total rushing yards, 6.6 yards per carry and 35 touchdowns, most of which were known to be all-time highs at the time. Widely recruited to play running back in collegiate football, he chose A good dude. 2006: T. Smith | The Browns' dream of pairing Davis with Jim Brown took a tragic turn when Davis was diagnosed with leukemia.

The family will receive friends at the home. "Somebody rushed up to him and asked for his autograph. 1967: Beban | 1950: Janowicz | There was never any self pity. Born in New Salem, Pennsylvania on December 14, 1939, Davis was a popular athlete in his school and college years.

The day he was honored at the Downtown Athletic Club in New York, he had a chance encounter with President John F. Kennedy, who also was in the city. Although freshmen weren't allowed to play in varsity games, Davis quickly became the team star by dominating in practice. 1938: O'Brien | 1961: E. Davis | Davis is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Elmira. It was in the East, wouldn't be too far from home, and he could carry on this legacy. 2004: Leinart | 1958: Dawkins | The disease was incurable and Davis died at age 23 at Cleveland Lakeside Hospital on May 18, 1963.[3]. Here he won the All-American honors twice, becoming a celebrity amongst the crowd of fans, peers and the like. He was a guy who had all this talent. "I told him it wouldn't be a cakewalk, because we're still breaking down barriers. You couldn't hear yourself think. Ernie Davis Ernest Davis commonly referred to as “Ernie” by friends and colleagues, was an American football halfback who passed away at the mere age of 23 due to complications from leukemia. The rift between Coach Brown and Modell worsened when Modell brought in doctors who said Davis was well enough to play and Brown still refused to allow it. "He was the star, but he was black. He led the Syracuse team to win a championship in 1959, finishing off the season with a record 11-0 winning streak.

He was Davis' teammate at Syracuse and on the Cleveland Browns, his roommate and a close friend. Davis refused to play for the Redskins and demanded a trade. At the end of his senior season he was recruited by numerous colleges, and chose to attend Syracuse University after being persuaded by Jim Brown, a Syracuse alumnus.[7]. 1994: Salaam | Not long after, Davis was drafted first overall by the Washington Redskins, who immediately traded him to Cleveland for Hall of Fame running back Bobby Mitchell. [16][17] The Redskins traded the rights to Davis to the Cleveland Browns for Bobby Mitchell and first-round draft pick Leroy Jackson. Ernie Davis was the kind of man a boy should want to be. Davis was the first African-American to become part of the organization not only at the Syracuse chapter, but for the national fraternity as a whole.[11]. You will receive email notifications when changes are made to the online memorial, including when family and friends post to the Guestbook. "He found a way through it all. 1953: Lattner |

He was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in the fall of 1979, coinciding with the premiere of The Express and the beginning of construction of Ernie Davis Hall, a Syracuse dormitory. This is where Davis gained his foundational abilities as an incredible player in baseball, football and basketball.

In high school, he was so good in football that he was one of the rare Negro athletes in the 1950s to be recruited by dozens of predominantly white universities. On one level, you're the greatest; the other level, you can't eat at a restaurant. 1975: Griffin | Ernie Davis' only real NFL footnote was that, as part of a trade between Washington and Cleveland in 1962, he became the first black player drafted first overall. Copyright © 2016 FamousAfricanAmericans.org, Museum Dedicated to African American History and Culture is Set to Open in 2016, Scholarships for African Americans – Black Scholarships, Top 10 Most Famous Black Actors of All Time. Share Ernie's life story with friends and family. Ernie, me, we were in all of that. That thing, according to those that knew him, was a paintbrush of generosity, humanity, dignity and competitiveness that he spread over a canvas of racial intolerance, a speech impediment, a barely integrated college campus, 100 yards of football turf and nearly 8,395 days of life. Barron, David, "Film The Express stretches the truth", "Centennial Spotlight", Sigma Alpha Mu Foundation website, "NFL.com Draft 2018 - NFL Draft History: Full Draft Year", "Ernie Davis wants no part of football racial dispute", "A 'Showdown' That Changed Football's Racial History", "WashingtonPost.com: The Redskins Book: Page 17", Davis/ernie14.html Neuman, Roger, "Pro contract was rookie record", Elmira, King, Steve, "A tragic off season", Official Website of the Cleveland Browns, December 19, 2006, "The Express’ to Film Scenes on Campus Next Week; Extras Needed", SUAthletics.com, National Football League Draft first overall picks, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ernie_Davis&oldid=981868635, National Football League first overall draft picks, Players of American football from New York (state), African-American players of American football, Burials at Woodlawn Cemetery (Elmira, New York), NFL player missing current team parameter, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 4 October 2020, at 21:59. Or when he disarmed a volatile situation at a Virginia diner that almost led to violence when he, John Brown and other friends were denied service on a trip to visit friends.

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 recipient.[1][2][3]. They didn't have anything, nothing to save him.

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