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Hall of Famer Butler dies

The SportsXchange

Hall of Famer Jack Butler died Saturday morning after a battle with a staph infection. He was 85.

Butler, a Pittsburgh Steelers great in the 1950s, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame last year.

Butler had the staph infection since November, which stemmed from a knee replacement that was needed because of a leg injury that ended his career in 1959.

"His heart just stopped," Steelers scout Mike Butler, Jack's son, told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "He was completely lucid last night, my sister and brother made him a root beer float and he went to sleep. He never complained, never said anything hurt."

Butler was part of the NFL's All-Decade Team of the 1950s. When he retired, he was second on the league's all-time list with 52 interceptions.

"Jack was a tremendous player who ranked among the best in league history with his 52 interceptions while only playing in 12 games a year," Steelers chairman Dan Rooney said in a statement. "He was a versatile player who was also used as a wide receiver, but his career ended unfortunately too soon with a bad knee injury.

"He was an excellent person both on and off the field, and he played an integral role in the BLESTO scouting program and our entire draft process before his retirement. His family was very close to the entire Rooney family, and he will be missed. Our condolences are with his family through this very tough time."

After his playing days, Butler was a long-time scout before retiring three years ago.

"Jack Butler was one of the all-time great Steelers," Steelers president Art Rooney II said in a statement. "He devoted his entire life to the NFL and made contributions to many teams and many players through his work with BLESTO and player personnel matters. Our condolences are with the entire Butler family."

Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said in a statement: "Jack was a great person and great friend who always placed his faith and family first. Beyond his great play on the field, he was a legendary personnel man who helped so many of us get established in our scouting careers. He will be missed, but never forgotten."

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