Ken Strong

For the ice hockey player, see Ken Strong (ice hockey).
Ken Strong

refer to caption

Pro Football Hall of Fame induction, 1967
No. 50
Position: Halfback
Personal information
Date of birth: (1906-04-21)April 21, 1906
Place of birth: West Haven, Connecticut
Date of death: October 5, 1979(1979-10-05) (aged 73)
Place of death: New York, New York
Height: 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight: 206 lb (93 kg)
Career information
High school: West Haven (CT)
College: New York University
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing touchdowns: 24
Receiving touchdowns: 7
Games played: 131
Player stats at

Elmer Kenneth Strong, Jr. (April 21, 1906 – October 5, 1979) was an American football player, a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame (inducted in 1957) and Pro Football Hall of Fame (inducted in 1967).[1][2]

College football

Strong was raised in Connecticut and began his football career at West Haven High School.[3][4] He played college football as a prominent halfback for the NYU Violets. A multi-year All-American,[5] he had one of the greatest seasons for any back in 1928, with some 3,000 total yards from scrimmage.[6] Grantland Rice named Strong to his all-time backfield.[7]

Professional football

After his career at NYU, he went on to play professional football. With a 14-year career he played from 1929–1937, 1939, (interrupted by war service) 1944–1947. He played for the Staten Island Stapletons and New York Giants, both of the National Football League, and the New York Yankees of the second American Football League.

He is the first known player in NFL history to attempt and score on a fair catch kick. The kick was made at the Polo Grounds on November 26, 1933, in a win against the visiting Green Bay Packers.[8] The 30-yard kick was also the shortest of the five successful fair catch kicks in NFL history.

Strong is also believed to be the second player (after Mose Kelsch) to have devoted an entire season to placekicking; his 1939 season with the Giants had him playing very little outside of kicks.[9] He had a history of heart problems and died of an apparent heart attack in 1979 at age 73.[1][10]

See also


  1. 1 2 "Ken Strong dead at 73". Reading Eagle. Pennsylvania. Associated Press. October 6, 1979. p. 30.
  2. "Ken Strong named to grid hall of fame". Norwalk Hour. Connecticut. Associated Press. February 8, 1967. p. 24.
  3. Meier, Ted (September 2, 1943). "Ken Strong may make comeback". Prescott Evening Courier. Arizona. Associated Press. p. 5.
  4. "Ken Strong quits football at 40". Pittsburgh Press. United Press. April 17, 1948. p. 6.
  5. "Ken Strong married". Pittsburgh Press. United Press. December 13, 1928. p. 1.
  7. Wheeler, Robert W. (1979). "Jim Thorpe: World's Greatest Athlete". University of Oklahoma Press. Revised edition. p. 198.
  8. "Packers bow to N.Y. Giants". Milwaukee Journal. November 27, 1933. p. 6, part 2.
  9. Hogrogian, John (2000). "Twelve Interesting Things About The 1939 NFL Season" (PDF). Coffin Corner. Professional Football Researchers Association. 22 (3): 1–5.
  10. Raser, Derek (January 25, 1987). "The late Ken Strong, an NFL pioneer with N.Y., is gone but not forgotten". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved December 21, 2015.
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