Larry Wilson, Hall of Fame safety for Cardinals, dies at 82


Larry Wilson, a Hall of Fame safety for the Cardinals who later served as an assistant coach and general manager, died Thursday at the age of 82, according to the team.

Wilson played 13 seasons (1960-72) for the St. Louis Cardinals, earning eight Pro Bowl bids and five first-team All-Pro honors. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1978 and was named to the NFL’s 100th anniversary team in 2019.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Wilson helped “revolutionize” the safety position.

“While he will be recognized for his toughness and excellence on the field and his many contributions to the Cardinals organization, we will also remember Larry as loyal, humble and kind to everyone he met,” Goodell said in a statement. “Larry enriched the lives of many players and colleagues around the league.”

After his playing career, Wilson worked in the Cardinals’ front office from 1973 to 2002, including serving as vice president and general manager from 1988 to 1993.

“Besides my father, Larry Wilson was the most influential male figure in my life,” Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill said in a statement. “He was someone who truly lived his faith and demonstrated it daily in the kindness he showed every single person he met. Any of us lucky enough to be in his orbit — whether that was for a few minutes or four decades — was always better off from the experience.”

Wilson popularized the safety blitz, and his 52 career interceptions remain a Cardinals franchise record.

Wilson is survived by Nancy, his wife of 40 years, as well as daughter Christie, son Larry Jr. and numerous grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Source : ESPN