Les Richter

Class of 2011

Career interceptions


Career points


Pro Bowls




"Sure, I play rough. But that's what the Rams pay me for, and that's what the fans pay to see."

Enshrinement Speech

Career Highlights

Linebacker Les Richter was the second player selected overall in the 1952 NFL Draft by the New York Yanks. Two days later, the franchise folded and was sold back to the NFL. Shortly thereafter the assets of the club, including the signing rights to Richter, were granted to the expansion Dallas Texans. The Los Angeles Rams dealt 11 players to the Texans to obtain the All-American from California.

Los Angeles had to wait two years while Richter served in the military. When he returned he signed with the Rams and embarked on a nine-season career that earned him the reputation as one of the best linebackers of his era. He was especially known for his rugged and punishing style of play.

Richter was selected to eight straight Pro Bowls. The only time he did not receive the honor was in his final season in 1962. He was also named a first- or second-team All-NFL each season during a six-year span from 1955 to 1960. Aside from his play at linebacker, Richter also saw some time at center and handled the Rams placekicking duties early in his career. He received much attention in 1955 for his play on defense as well as clutch placekicking that helped the Rams to an 8-3-1 record to win the NFL Western Division crown and a berth in the championship game.

He led the Rams in scoring in 1955 and 1956. In all, he totaled 193 points off of 29 field goals and 106 extra points during his career.

Richter recorded 16 career interceptions which he returned for 206 yards. Twice he had four picks in a season (1957 and 1961) and was the Rams leading interceptor in 1957. Richter battled through various injuries but never missed a game during his 112-game NFL career. In fact, early in the 1961 season he suffered a broken cheekbone during a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He played through the injury not initially knowing it was broken. He had a protective guard added to his helmet and completed the season even though he broke his cheekbone again five weeks later.

Richter passed away on June 12, 2010 at the age of 79.

Year Team G Int Yds Avg TD XP XA FG FGA Pts
1954 Los Angeles 12 1 24 24.0 0 38 38 8 15 62
1955 Los Angeles 12 2 23 11.5 0 30 31 13 24 69
1956 Los Angeles 12 0 0 0.0 0 36 38 8 15 60
1957 Los Angeles 12 4 60 15.0 0 - - - - -
1958 Los Angeles 12 3 26 8.7 0 - - - - -
1959 Los Angeles 12 0 0 0.0 0 0 0 0 1 0
1960 Los Angeles 12 2 29 14.5 0 2 2 0 0 2
1961 Los Angeles 14 4 44 11.0 0 - - - - -
1962 Los Angeles 14 0 0 0.0 0 - - - - -
Career Total 112 16 206 12.9 0 106 109 29 55 193
Additional Career Statistics: Rushing: 0-8; Kickoff Returns: 1-4

Championship Games

1955 NFL – Cleveland Browns 38, Los Angeles Rams 14
Richter played in this game. Full stats are not available but he did convert on two extra points
in the contest.

All-NFL: 1955 (NY), 1956 (AP, NY)

All-NFL Second Team: 1955 (UPI), 1957 (AP, UPI), 1958 (AP, UPI, NEA, NY), 1959 (AP), 1960 (AP)

All-Western Conference: 1956 (SN), 1957 (SN), 1958 (SN)

(8) – 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962

Rams records held by Richter
(Records through the 1962 season, Richter's final season with Los Angeles )

• [Tied for 1st] Most Seasons – 9
• [2nd] Most Extra Points, Career – 106
• [Tied for 2nd] Most Field Goals, Season – 13 (1955)
• [3rd] Most Field Goals, Career – 29

Team Statistical Championships
Interception Titles: 1957
Scoring Titles: 1955, 1956

Year Team W L T Division Finish
1954 Los Angeles Rams 6 5 1 (4th)
1955 Los Angeles Rams 8 3 1 (1st)
1956 Los Angeles Rams 4 8 0 (6th)
1957 Los Angeles Rams 6 6 0 (4th)
1958 Los Angeles Rams 8 4 0 (3rd)
1959 Los Angeles Rams 2 10 0 (6th)
1960 Los Angeles Rams 4 7 0 (6th)
1961 Los Angeles Rams 4 10 0 (6th)
1962 Los Angeles Rams 1 12 1 (7th)

Full Name: Leslie Alan Richter

Birthdate: October 6, 1930

Birthplace: Fresno, California

Died: June 12, 2010 at Riverside, California

High School: Fresno (CA)

Elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame: February 5, 2011

Enshrined into Pro Football Hall of Fame: August 6, 2011

Presenter: Enshrined posthumously. Represented by his son Jon Richter

Other Members of the Class of 2011: Richard Dent, Marshall Faulk, Chris Hanburger, Ed Sabol, Deion Sanders, Shannon Sharpe

Pro Career: 9 seasons, 112 games

Drafted: 1st round (2nd player overall) in 1952 by New York Yanks

Transaction: Traded by the Dallas Texans to the Los Angeles Rams for 11 players on June 12, 1952.

Pro Football Hall of Fame Field at Fawcett Stadium
August 6, 2011


In 1952, Les Richter was the second player chosen overall in the NFL draft by the New York Yanks. But within a week the franchise folded and Richter's rights were sold to the Dallas Texans, who then traded him to the Los Angeles Rams, for eleven players still the largest trade for one player in league history. After serving two years in the Army, Richter began playing for the Rams in 1954.

Jon Richter (presenter):
He was a big man in his era, 6-3, 240; he was not one to pump his chest. He was more concerned with playing the game right and making sure the fans got what they payed for. He thought about the game and didn't just go through the motions. Just a real desire to play hard every play, and do the best to help the team win every game possible.

Richter also played a significant amount on the offensive line for the Rams and was the team's placekicker for five seasons twice leading the team in scoring. As a linebacker he went to the Pro Bowl in eight of his nine seasons in the league.

His responsibility was to plug up the middle and block on offense and you know get on the field for special teams. He believed you had to play with a little hurt and his job was to play football and worry about the injury later.

Not even an equipment malfunction could force Richter out of the game.

He was on the Coliseum floor and something wasn't right with his shirt or his pants so he dropped them down just below his rear end and fixed whatever he had to fix and he didn't even think twice of what he was doing. It was just I gotta fix it and I'll fix it right here.

Despite his physically punishing style of play Richter never missed a game due to injury in his entire 112 game career.

When he first started with the Rams there was no facemasks. You know the first facemasks were a one inch strip of plastic. He believed that desire was about 80 percent of your ability and if you had the desire then you could overcome the other things.

After football Richter developed a second career operating Riverside International Raceway. He went on to become one of the most influential people in auto racing.

I grew up with a father that was a celebrity, recognized everywhere we went both from football and later auto racing. He led by example, his love for what he did and his work ethic were great teaching tools. He was a pretty imposing figure when I was young and then he was a friend and confidant as I got older. My father was pretty humble. A lot things weren't about him and so this is my opportunity to brag on his behalf. We lost him in June of last year. I think my father is looking down he knows he's in the Hall of Fame and he's very honored and happy. It's a great end to his career, he deserved it, earned it, and we're very proud, all of us, my mom, my sister and I. I'm honored to accept, on behalf of my father Les Richter, his enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.