LSU Heisman Trophy Winner Billy Cannon Passes Away In His Sleep
Billy Cannon, LSU's only Heisman Trophy winner, passed away in his sleep early this morning. He was 80 years old.
Cannon helped lead the Tigers to their first National Championship in 1958, his junior year.
A star on all three sides of the ball (offense, defense, special teams), Cannon was an incredible athlete.
At 6'3, 210 lbs, Cannon could run through, around and past opponents.
In 1959, he won the Heisman Trophy for being the best player in college football.
On Halloween night, 1959, Cannon made arguably the most famous play in the history of LSU football, returning a punt 89 yards for a touchdown to lead LSU past #3 Ole Miss by the score of 7-3.
The iconic play is celebrated by LSU fans to this day, played as part of a highlight package before every home game at Tiger Stadium.
His number #20 is one of only two numbers retired by the program. Tommy Casanova had his #37 retired 9 years ago.
"Billy Cannon was LSU football through and through," LSU head football coach Ed Orgeron said on his twitter account. "He was a legend. He will be missed and never forgotten."
Cannon was the #1 overall pick of the 1960 NFL Draft, playing 11 years of professional football.
After earning his dental license, he practiced as an orthodontist for years before becoming involved in a counterfeit money scheme in 1983 after a number of poor real estate investments.
He served half of a five years sentence at a Federal penitentiary before being released to a halfway home in Baton Rouge.
He eventually reacquired his dental license, and served as both a dentist, and head of the medical program at Angola prison.
He's a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.