What was Franco Harris Age When He Died?

Do you know what was Franco Harris age before he died? Franco Harris was a professional football player for 13 seasons in the NFL, principally with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was born on March 7, 1950 and died on December 20, 2022. He played a pivotal role in what Pittsburgh sportscaster Myron Cope nicknamed the “Immaculate Reception” of professional football.

He was the thirteenth overall choice in the 1972 NFL Draft after playing college football for the Penn State Nittany Lions. His first 12 seasons in the NFL were spent with the Steelers, and his final season was spent with the Seahawks. In 1990, he was honored with a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Harris recreates the Immaculate Reception with Terry Bradshaw in a commercial for the NFL’s centennial season.

Franco Harris Age

Franco Harris Age: On the 20th of December, 2022 at the age of 72 Harris passed away in his home in Sewickley, Pennsylvania. The 50th anniversary of the “Immaculate Reception” was just three days before his death.

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Franco Harris’s Formative Years and Schooling

Franco Harris's Formative Years and Schooling
Franco Harris’s Formative Years and Schooling

Harris’s birthplace is New Jersey’s, Fort Dix. Cad Harris Sr. was an African-American soldier who participated in World War II and was stationed in Italy. His mother Gina Parenti Harris was born in Italy but became an American “war bride” when her husband returned from World War II and settled there.

Harris completed his high school education at Rancocas Valley Regional High School in Mount Holly Township, New Jersey. The next step in his life was to enroll at Penn State University, where he could join the Nittany Lions football team. While his primary role was to clear the way for All-American running back Lydell Mitchell, he still managed to rush for 2,002 yards and 24 touchdowns on over 5 yards per carry while also receiving 28 catches for 352 yards and another score. In 1970, he scored more points than anyone else on the team.

Franco Harris’s Work Experience

Harris was honored as the NFL’s Rookie of the Year by The Sporting News and NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year by the Associated Press in his first year with the Steelers (1972). He averaged 5.6 yards per run on his 188 carries that year, for a total of 1,055 yards. Furthermore, he caught one touchdown pass and rushed for ten more. Because of Pittsburgh’s huge Italian-American community, his followers, who included “Brigadier General” Frank Sinatra, called themselves “Franco’s Italian Army” and even donned army helmets bearing his number.

Harris was an All-Pro in 1977 and was selected for the Pro Bowl that year. Franco Harris set a new record by rushing for over 1,000 yards in eight consecutive seasons, previously held by Jim Brown. Super Bowl victories in 1974, 1975, 1978, and 1979 came thanks in large part to the efforts of Harris and Rocky Bleier, two of the team’s running backs, and a solid defensive unit.

Super Bowl IX was played on January 12, 1975, and he was named the game’s MVP after rushing for 158 yards and a touchdown on just 34 carries in a 16-6 victory over the Minnesota Vikings. Harris set two records when he was voted Super Bowl MVP: he was the first African American and the first Italian-American. Harris played a crucial role in the Steelers’ first four Super Bowl victories. His four career running touchdowns in the Super Bowl are tied for the second-most all-time and his 101 lifetime carries are a record. You can also read details about Franco Harris wife.

Franco Harris’ Personal Life and Death Details

Franco Harris' Personal Life and Death Details
Franco Harris’ Personal Life and Death Details

Franco “Dok” Harris Harris’s son was a third-party candidate in Pittsburgh’s 2009 mayoral election and received 25% of the vote, coming in only behind the eventual winner. Pete Harris, Harris’ younger brother, also played football for Penn State before his untimely death from a heart attack on August 15, 2006.

Harris was appointed to the board of advisors for Penn State’s Center for Food Innovation and later honored with the title of Conti Professor in the School of Hospitality Management that same year. He was a part of and donor to Penn Staters for Responsible Stewardship, a group that campaigns to replace the board of trustees at Penn State.

On the 20th of December, 2022, at the age of 72, Harris passed away in his home in Sewickley, Pennsylvania. The 50th anniversary of the “Immaculate Reception” was just three days before his death. Harris’s death was unexpected because he had been using social media often in the days leading up to it and had just finished giving a talk to guests at the Heinz History Center.

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On December 24, 2022, he was scheduled to attend a halftime ceremony at a Steelers game against the Las Vegas Raiders to retire his jersey number. Some have drawn parallels between the timing of his death and that of Pittsburgh Pirates hero Willie Stargell, who passed away on the same day as the formal inauguration of PNC Park in 2001 and just two days after the unveiling of a bronze statue of Stargell at the same venue.

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