Who is Floyd Little's wife DeBorah? How Pat Killorin created GoFundMe for the couple during cancer struggle
Floyd was diagnosed with 'a treatable but aggressive form of cancer' and his friend came in to help
Floyd Little, the Hall of Fame running back who starred at Syracuse and for the Denver Broncos, has died at 78. A three-time All-American at Syracuse who wore No. 44 after Jim Brown and Ernie Davis, did you know he was the first first-round draft pick to sign with the American Football League's Denver Broncos? Lovingly known as “The Franchise”, Little was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010.
Why did he get that nickname? After his signing, the team didn't have to relocate and his name also helped voters approve funds for the old, iconic Mile High Stadium, which has since been replaced by Empower Field at Mile High. “I know when I got there the talk was about the team moving to Chicago or Birmingham,” Little told The Associated Press in an interview in 2009. “So, I supposedly saved the franchise, and I think (former team spokesman) Jim Saccomano gave me that nickname. It’s been a part of my name ever since.”
After his death, thousands of fans mourned the loss. Expressing their condolences, the Las Vegas Raiders sent out a statement: “The entire Raiders Family is saddened to learn of the passing of Floyd Little. Little was a great competitor in every sense, and the thoughts of Raider Nation remain with DeBorah, Marc, Christy, Kyra and the entire Little family.”
Who was Floyd Little?
A native of New Haven, Connecticut, Floyd studied at the Hillhouse High School in New Haven and the Bordentown Military Institute in Bordentown, New Jersey. A five-time Pro Bowler, Little led the NFL in rushing in 1971 with 1,133 yards and in touchdown runs in 1973 with 12. With the most all-purpose yards in pro football, he ranked second only to OJ Simpson in yards rushing over his career.
After getting into Canton in 2010, he told The Associated Press that he had given up hope of ever making it into the Hall of Fame. “I was running out of guys who had seen me play,” he said. “The people that had seen me play were starting to fade off and retire. All these guys were no longer there, so who’s going to talk about Floyd Little? Nobody. I thought I’d just fallen through the cracks never to be seen or heard from again.” Shedding light on a valuable lesson he learnt, he said, “Well, you don’t give up on your dreams.”
Who is his wife DeBorah Little?
Not much of Floyd Little's personal life is known but he lived a happy life with his wife, DeBorah Little. In 2016, Floyd Little joined Syracuse University after having been offered a “voluntary separation package.” He said, “I was given a free ride, a free hand, for as long as I wanted to be here. They never told me they were cutting back on my position. It was as solid as anybody's. They would have me stay as long as I wanted to stay.”
He also owned automobile dealerships in Denver, the Seattle area and Santa Barbara but he sold his car dealership in Seattle after 32 years when he received an honorary doctorate degree from the university.
Post that, Little and his wife moved to Las Vegas, where he purchased a house two days before he was hired by Daryl Gross in 2011. His former teammate Pat Killorin created a GoFundMe page for Floyd when he was diagnosed with “a treatable but aggressive form of cancer.” He wrote, “Today, I prayerfully reach out to update you on what YOUR donations have accomplished in Floyd and DeBorah Little’s fight against cancer, and to ask you to consider making one more gift to get them across the finish line.” $136,903 was raised of the $250,000 goal.