Falcons Hall of Famer Claude Humphrey dies at the age of 77

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Pro Football Hall of Famer Claude Humphrey, who spent 10 years with the Atlanta Falcons from 1968 to 1974, passed away Friday evening at the age of 77.

Humphrey’s accomplished career included NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, six Pro Bowl selections, and first-team All-Pro honors twice. While he played in a time when statistics weren’t fully accounted for, Humphrey is accredited with 130 career sacks, 99.5 for the Falcons alone. Additionally, he accounted for 11 fumble recoveries during his time in Atlanta.

Pro Football Hall of Fame president Jim Porter released a statement on Humphrey.

“The entire Pro Football Hall of Fame family mourns the passing of Claude Humphrey,” said Porter. “Known as a hard worker and a reliable teammate, Humphrey was always willing to help the team out wherever needed and knew success was achieved collectively. His humble spirit guided him on and off the field.”

Falcons owner Arthur Blank also released a statement on Humphrey’s passing.

“We are saddened by the passing of Claude Humphrey and send our prayers out for his family and friends in this difficult time,” said Blank. “Claude made an indelible impression on so many from Memphis to the Falcons and across the NFL with his leadership and tenacious approach on the field. His Falcons legacy was cemented as a forever memory with induction into our Ring of Honor and he will be greatly missed. May he rest in peace.”

After his tenure with the Falcons, Humphrey was traded to the Eagles for three seasons, where he appeared in Super Bowl 15 against the Raiders.

Not only did Humphrey make it into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2014 and the Falcons ring of honor in 2008, but being he attended the Historically Black College of Tennessee State University, he was inducted into the Black College Football Hall of Fame in 2012 and the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame in 1998.

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