Clarke Hinkle

Clarke Hinkle

refer to caption

Hinkle at Pro Football Hall of Fame induction
Position: Fullback, linebacker, defensive back
Personal information
Date of birth: (1909-04-10)April 10, 1909
Place of birth: Toronto, Ohio
Date of death: November 9, 1988(1988-11-09) (aged 79)
Place of death: Steubenville, Ohio
Height: 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Weight: 202 lb (92 kg)
Career information
High school: Toronto (OH)
College: Bucknell
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards: 3,860
Average: 3.3
Rushing touchdowns: 35
Player stats at PFR

William Clarke Hinkle (April 10, 1909 – November 9, 1988) was an American football player who played professionally in the National Football League (NFL) with the Green Bay Packers. He played fullback and linebacker from 1932 to 1941. At the time of his retirement, he was the NFL's all-time leader in rushing yards. Hinkle played college football at Bucknell University. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1964 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1971.

Early life and college career

William Clarke Hinkle was born in Toronto, Ohio and attended Toronto High School. He played college football for Bucknell University, where he set several records for the Bucknell Bison football team. He scored eight touchdowns in a game against Dickinson in 1929 and finished the season with 21 touchdowns. He had 37 touchdowns over his career at Bucknell from 1929 to 1931. In 1931 he led the team to a 6–0–3 win-loss record.[1] Hinkle's coach at Bucknell, Carl Snavely, called him: "Without a doubt, the greatest defensive back I have ever seen or coached." Snavely had seen and coached many of the nation's best.[2]

Professional career

When Hinkle left Bucknell he chose to sign with the Green Bay Packers, playing mainly fullback on offense. In the early years of Hinkle's career, he was compared to his counterpart on the rival Chicago Bears, Bronko Nagurski.[3] Hinkle once hit Nagurski so hard that Nagurski suffered two cracked ribs and a broken nose.[4] Hinkle played for the Packers for his entire ten-year career, during which he was the Packers' top runner. Combined with a passing attack that featured receiver Don Hutson and quarterback Arnie Herber, Hinkle helped the Packers to NFL titles in 1936 and 1939. When he retired, Hinkle was the NFL's all-time leading rusher with 3,850 career yards. He surpassed the old record of 3,511 yards held by Cliff Battles. Hinkle's record stood until 1949 when it was broken by Steve Van Buren.[5]


He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1964, the College Football Hall of Fame in 1971, and the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 1972. In 1997, the Packers' west practice field across Oneida Street from Lambeau Field was dedicated Clarke Hinkle Field. He is on the NFL 1930s All-Decade Team.

Later life

Hinkle died on November 9, 1988 in Steubenville, Ohio, at the age of 79.[6]


  1. "W. Clarke Hinkle Biography". Bucknell University. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
  2. College Football Hall of Fame bio
  3. "Clarke Hinkle - Class of 1964". Green Bay Packers. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
  4. "Clarke Hinkle Bio". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
  5. Cain, Charles (October 4, 1949). "Steve Van Buren Mr. Football as Eagles Tip Lions". The Owosso Argus-Press. Associated Press. p. 8. Retrieved July 18, 2016.
  6. "Obituary - Clarke Hinkle, 79, Former Football Star". New York Times. Associated Press. November 11, 1988. Retrieved March 4, 2016.
Preceded by
Cliff Battles
NFL career rushing yards leader
1941 – 1949
Succeeded by
Steve Van Buren
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