Jack Butler (American football)

Jack Butler
No. 80
Position: Cornerback
Personal information
Date of birth: November 12, 1927
Place of birth: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Date of death: May 11, 2013(2013-05-11) (aged 85)
Place of death: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Career information
College: St. Bonaventure
Undrafted: 1951
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Interceptions: 52
Interception yards: 827
Touchdowns: 4
Player stats at NFL.com

John Bradshaw Butler (November 12, 1927 – May 11, 2013) was an American football cornerback for the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL). In 2012, he was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Professional career

Butler was an undrafted free agent whom the Pittsburgh Steelers brough onto their roster in 1951 based on a recommendation that Art Rooney Sr. received from his brother Dan Rooney, who was a priest at St. Bonaventure University. Butler would become a defensive back and occasional wide receiver for the Steelers.

As a rookie, Butler intercepted five passes for 142 yards. In 1953, he had nine interceptions and returned two of them for touchdowns. Four interceptions came in a game against the Washington Redskins on December 13, 1953. One of the interceptions resulted in a 35-yard return for a touchdown to win the game for the Steelers 14-13. The following year Butler set a record with two interception returns for touchdowns. In 1957, he led the league in interceptions with a career-best 10.

Offensively, Butler scored a touchdown against the New York Giants. It was late in the game and Butler had caught the game winning touchdown pass from Jim Finks.

In 1958, Butler added nine more interceptions to his growing list. During the 1959 season after garnering two interceptions, Butler was forced to retire due to a leg injury he received when tight end Pete Retzlaff of the Philadelphia Eagles rolled into Butler's knee.

Butler never made more than around $12,000 as a player with the Steelers. Following his playing career, Butler spent 46 years with the BLESTO Scouting Combine (44 as its director). During this time, his contributions to the NFL included scouting and evaluating over 75,000 college athletes and starting the Combine scouting process that is still in use today.[1]

Butler was named to four straight Pro Bowls from 1956 to 1959. He had 52 interceptions during his career and 865 yards. At the time of his retirement, Jack ranked second in career interceptions, behind only Hall of Famer Emlen Tunnell.[2]

In October 2008, Butler was named as one of the 33 Greatest Pittsburgh Steelers of all-time. The Steelers named players to this team as part of their 75th anniversary season celebration. He was named to the National Football League 1950s All-Decade Team. In 2004, he was named to the Professional Football Researchers Association Hall of Very Good in the association's second HOVG class [3] He was named as a senior nominee for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for 2012 and was elected as a member on February 4, 2012.[2]



Butler died at UPMC Shadyside in Pittsburgh on May 11, 2013.[4]


  1. jack-butler.com
  2. 1 2 "Butler & Stanfel named 2012 senior nominees". Pro Football Hall of Fame. August 24, 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-24.
  3. "Hall of Very Good". Retrieved July 13, 2016.
  4. Bouchette, Ed (May 12, 2013). "Steelers great Jack Butler dies at 85 - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
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