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Mel Farr

Nov. 3, 1944 - Aug. 3, 2015         Beaumont Texas

Mel Farr graduated from Hebert High School in Beaumont, Texas, 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. In his rookie season, Farr rushed for 860 yards with a 4.2 yard-per-carry average and led the Lions with 39 receptions for 317 yards and six touchdowns. He 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 the Lions Co-Captain and had his best performance ever in a game. On November 12, 1969, in a game against the Vikings, 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 received his college degree and enrolled in the Ford dealer development program during his off-seasons. After his football retirement, he was employed in the automotive business. 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. 

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