Born: Nov. 3, 1944 in Beaumont, Texas
Died: Aug. 3, 2015
Mel Farr graduated from Hebert High School in 1963, where he lettered in football, basketball, baseball, and track. He was named All-State in football and track and All-District in basketball. Farr received a scholarship to UCLA, where he became one of the all-time greats of college football. Although a broken wrist cut short his sophomore season, he was named All-American his two remaining seasons.
Mel was the No. 1 draft pick of the Detroit Lions in 1967. After rushing for 860 yards with a 4.2 yard per carry average and leading the Lions' receivers with 39 receptions for 317 yards and 6 touchdowns, Farr was named NFL Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Offensive Player. Although he missed half of the 1968 season with knee surgery, Farr was again named Most Valuable Offensive Player. The following year he became Lions Co-Captain, roaring back from surgery with his best performance ever in a game against the Vikings. On November 12, 1969, Farr racked up 197 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Farr ranks among the great all-time Lions scorers with 36 career touchdowns. He played for the Lions through the 1973 season (when he became teammates with his brother, Miller). He retired at the end of that season.
Farr, who completed his college degree and the Ford dealer development program during his off seasons from the Lions, went into the automotive business with money saved from his football career.
A respected businessman and civic leader, Farr was honored for Outstanding Achievements in Business by President Carter in 1978. He was also appointed by the NFL Commissioner in 1990 to the NFL Players Advisory Board, on which he served for two years. He passed away in 2015.