How did Floyd Little die? Internet mourns loss of Hall of Fame Denver Broncos running back at 78: 'He was a gem'

President-Elect Joe Biden mourned the passing away of his former classmate at Syracuse University and called him a man 'full of character, decency, and integrity'

                            How did Floyd Little die? Internet mourns loss of Hall of Fame Denver Broncos running back at 78: 'He was a gem'
Floyd Little(Getty Images)

Floyd Little, Hall of Fame running back for Syracuse and Denver Broncos, has died at 78. Little had been diagnosed with cancer, which became public this past May, and was moved to hospice care in November and on Friday, January 1, he died at his home in Nevada. No cause was given. 

“Floyd Little was not only a Hall of Fame running back, he was a Hall of Fame person,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said. “Faith, family and football were the pillars of his life.” “Floyd Little was a true hero of the game," said David Baker, president and CEO of the pro hall. “He was a man of great integrity, passion and courage. His contributions off the field were even greater than the amazing accomplishments he did on it. Floyd’s smile, heart and character epitomized what it meant to have a Hall of Fame life."
Broncos president and CEO Joe Ellis called Floyd “one of the greatest Broncos of all-time and an unforgettable part of our history.” “He rightfully earned the nickname ‘The Franchise’ for his profound impact on this organization, helping to put the Broncos on the pro football map in the early days. As the first Pro Football Hall of Famer to star for the Broncos, Floyd brought credibility to this team while becoming one of the most dominant players of his era,” Ellis said. “Seeing him finally receive that gold jacket was the culmination of a tremendous lifetime in football. “Even after his retirement, Floyd was a wonderful ambassador for the game and the Denver Broncos, carrying himself with warmth, kindness and class-always with humility and a smile,” Ellis added. “In recent months, he faced his cancer diagnosis with the same grit and determination that defined his incredible playing career.”



Little was a three-time All-American at Syracuse, where he wore No. 44 like Jim Brown and Ernie Davis before him. From 1964-66, he ran for 2,704 yards and 46 touchdowns. Little was the sixth overall pick in the 1967 AFL-NFL draft. He played nine seasons in Denver, where he earned the nickname “The Franchise” because his signing was credited with keeping the team from relocating and helped persuade voters to approve funds for the old, iconic Mile High Stadium, which has since been replaced by Empower Field at Mile High. Little was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 1983 and the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010.

President-Elect Joe Biden said on Twitter, "Floyd Little and I were students at Syracuse University together. And over the years, I got to know the man behind the number. He was full of character, decency, and integrity. I will miss my friend. The entire Biden family sends our love to DeBorah and the Little family."



As soon as the news made its way to social media, people started talking about it, as one Internet use said, "RIP Floyd Little. You were the very best. Loved seeing you play." While one remembered him saying, "It’s literally insane “man behind the number” because my grandfather gave his jersey number to Floyd when he came to Syracuse. What a small world. RIP Floyd Little. He was a good friend to my grandfather and a good player" 

Another one wrote, "This hasn't much to do with Comfort Dental but I'll make an exception: RIP to the FIRST great Bronco. Floyd Little." And one fan said, "He was a gem!!! And he lit up that field!! Rest in peace, Floyd Little."











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