Lionel Aldridge

Lionel Aldridge
No. 82
Position: Defensive end
Personal information
Date of birth: (1941-02-14)February 14, 1941
Place of birth: Evergreen, Louisiana
Date of death: February 12, 1998(1998-02-12) (aged 56)
Place of death: Shorewood, Wisconsin
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight: 254 lb (115 kg)
Career information
High school: Pittsburg (CA)
College: Utah State
NFL Draft: 1963 / Round: 4 / Pick: 54
AFL draft: 1963 / Round: 6 / Pick: 47
(By the Houston Oilers)
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played: 147
Games started: 58
Touchdowns: 1
Player stats at

Lionel Aldridge (February 14, 1941 – February 12, 1998) was an American professional football player,[1] a defensive end in the National Football League for eleven seasons with the Green Bay Packers and San Diego Chargers.[2][3]

Early years

Born in Evergreen, Louisiana, Aldridge was raised by his sharecropper grandparents.[4] After his grandfather's death when Aldridge was fifteen, he was sent to live with a steelworker uncle in northern California and played high school football at Pittsburg High School.[5] He earned an athletic scholarship and played college football at Utah State University in Logan,[6] and was a co-captain of the team and an All-Skyline Conference tackle.

NFL career

Aldridge was selected in fourth round of the 1963 NFL draft, 54th overall, by the two-time defending NFL champion Green Bay Packers. One of the few rookies to start for head coach Vince Lombardi, he enjoyed an eleven-year NFL career.[7] As a Packer, he played a role in their unprecedented three straight NFL Championships (1965-66-67) and victories in Super Bowls I and II.[8] Traded to the San Diego Chargers, Aldridge played two seasons in San Diego before retiring from professional football in 1973.[1]

After football

After retiring, Aldridge worked as sports analyst at WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee and for Packers radio and NBC until manifesting paranoid schizophrenia in the late 1970s.[9][10][2] Homeless for a time in part due to misdiagnosis,[8][11][12] he eventually reached a form of equilibrium. He became an advocate for the homeless and the mentally ill until his death in 1998.[13][14] His advocacy work included serving as a board member for the Mental Health Association of Milwaukee and working as a speaker for the National Alliance on Mental Illness.[15]


  1. 1 2 Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. New York: HarperCollins, 1999. 553.
  2. 1 2 Eskenazi, Gerald (February 14, 1998). "Lionel Aldridge, 56, stalwart on defense for Packer teams". New York Times. Retrieved February 20, 2016.
  3. Hendricks, Martin (June 23, 2009). "Bright career clouded by tragic decline". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved February 20, 2016.
  4. Magner, Howie (December 30, 2014). "The long walk home". Milwaukee magazine. Retrieved February 20, 2016.
  5. Schaap, Dick (March 1, 1987). "How Lionel Aldridge defeated mental illness". Parade. p. 8.
  6. Yeomans, Jay (May 5, 2014). "The 25 most highly drafted football players from Utah State". Deseret News. Salt Lake City, Utah.
  7. "Lionel Aldridge". Retrieved 2012-08-10.
  8. 1 2 Clark, Steve. "Lost and found - Ex-Packer Aldridge winning life's battle". Beloit Daily News. Retrieved 2012-08-10.
  9. Begel, Dave (December 3, 1980). "Agony, ecstasy". Milwaukee Journal. p. 17, part 2.
  10. Ritter, Malcolm (December 17, 1988). "Schizophrenia: one man's struggle for life against the destruction of his personality". Idahonian. Moscow. Associated Press. p. 4B.
  11. Oates, Bob (October 10, 1987). "Lionel Akdridge: a long journey and happy days". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 20, 2016.
  12. Kramer, Jerry; Schaap, Dick (October 24, 1985). "Aldridge lost, found". Milwaukee Journal. (Distant Replay). p. 1, part 3.
  13. "Former Packer Lionel Aldridge dies at 56". Free Lance-Star. Fredericksburg, Virginia. Associated Press. February 13, 1998. p. C10.
  14. Kissinger, Meg (February 17, 1998). "Friends remember the strength of Aldridge's spirit". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. p. 9B.
  15. "Celebrity Meltdown". Psychology Today. 32 (6): 46–49, 70. December 1999.
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