Ernie Davis

Ernie Davis

New Salem, Fayette County, Pennsylvania, USA
Death 18 May 1963 (aged 23)
Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, USA
Burial Elmira, Chemung County, New York, USA
Memorial ID 1252 · View Source
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College Football Player. Known as "The Elmira Express", he was a three-sport (football, basketball, baseball) star at the Elmira Free Academy in Elmira, New York. He attended Syracuse University on a football scholarship, and in three varsity seasons he led the Orangemen to an overall 26-5 record. Playing halfback, he rushed for 2,386 yards, had 3,414 total yards, scored 35 touchdowns and chalked up a total of 220 points. After the 1961 season, his senior year, he was awarded the Heisman Trophy. He then became the first-round draft choice of the Washington Redskins who then quickly traded him to the Cleveland Browns. Browns officials hoped to put him in their backfield with fellow Syracuse alumnus Jim Brown and he was signed to a three-year contract. In the summer of 1962, Ernie Davis was diagnosed with leukemia. He began receiving medical treatment and was hopeful of still playing with the Browns. However, he died in Cleveland Lakeside Hospital in May 1963. He lay in state in the Neighborhood House in Elmira where more than 10,000 mourners passed by in tribute. To honor Ernie Davis, the Browns retired jersey number 45, the number he would have worn, in his honor. He was posthumously inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1979.

Bio by: John Perin

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 31 Dec 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 1252
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Ernie Davis (14 Dec 1939–18 May 1963), Find a Grave Memorial no. 1252, citing Woodlawn Cemetery, Elmira, Chemung County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .