|Photo courtesy of the Kansas City Chiefs
Len Dawson, who was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987, is being honored again by the Hall of Fame, this time for his career in radio and television. The popular broadcaster and Hall of Fame quarterback is the 2012 recipient of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award. The award given annually by the Pro Football Hall of Fame recognizes “long-time exceptional contributions to radio and television in professional football.”
Dawson will receive the award on Friday, Aug. 3 during the annual Enshrinees’ Gold Jacket Dinner. That event is where the Hall of Fame Class of 2012 – Jack Butler, Dermontti Dawson, Chris Doleman, Cortez Kennedy, Curtis Martin and Willie Roaf will receive their gold Pro Football Hall of Fame jackets.
The Class of 2012 Enshrinement Ceremony takes place the following day at 7 PM ET. On Sunday, Aug. 5, at 8:00 PM ET, the New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals will play in the annual Pro Football Hall of Fame Game.
Dawson was a No. 1 draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1957, played 19 seasons with the Steelers (1957-59), Cleveland Browns (1960-61) and Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs (1962-1975). He was selected to six AFL All-Star Games and the 1972 AFC-NFC Pro Bowl.
AFL Player of the Year in 1962, he was a first- or second-team All-AFL selection in 1962, 1964, 1965, 1966, and 1968. He also won four AFL passing titles. In 1962 he led the Dallas Texans, who became the Kansas City Chiefs in 1963, to their first AFL championship in a double overtime victory over the Houston Oilers. Dawson was also the chief architect of Kansas City’s titles in both 1966 and 1969 that led to his participation in Super Bowls I and IV. He was named Most Valuable Player in Super Bowl IV.
“This is an unbelievable award for me,” Dawson remarked. “To be in the Hall of Fame as a player was the highlight of my playing career, but now to be recognized by the Hall of Fame as a broadcaster, well, it’s just a great, great honor.”
Dawson began his broadcasting career in 1966 as a sports anchor with KMBC Radio and sports director for KMBC-TV while still playing quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs. Following his retirement as a player in 1975, Dawson joined NBC-TV as a color analyst on NFL games, partnering with the likes of play-by-play announcers Jack Buck, Charlie Jones and others from 1976 until 1982. Also in 1982, he joined the Chiefs Radio Network as a color commentator, a position he continues to hold. He is the longest tenured sportscaster in Kansas City radio and television history.
While working NFL games for NBC, Dawson also began a 24-year stint (1977-2001) as the host of HBO’s popular Inside the NFL show. Inside the NFL was cable television’s longest running series and the first NFL-related program to air on cable.
Len is active in the Kansas City community and focuses much of his energy on charity work. He has raised money for countless charitable organizations, especially those that help needy children. He is married and has two grown children.
Watch Len Dawson's Rozelle Award speech>>>
Past recipients of the Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award
1989 - Bill MacPhail
1990 - Lindsey Nelson
1991 - Ed Sabol
1992 - Chris Schenkel
1993 - Curt Gowdy
1994 - Pat Summerall
1995 - Frank Gifford
1996 - Jack Buck
1997 - Charlie Jones
1998 - Val Pinchbeck
1999 - Dick Enberg
2000 - Ray Scott
2001 - Roone Arledge
2002 - John Madden
2003 - Don Criqui
2004 - Van Miller
2005 - Myron Cope
2006 - Lesley Visser
2007 - Don Meredith
2008 - Dan Dierdorf
2009 - Irv Cross
2010 - Chris Berman
2011 - Jim Nantz