The Cardinals announced the death of Pro Football Hall of Famer Larry Wilson at the age of 82 on Friday.
Wilson was a player, coach and executive for the Cardinals from 1960 until his retirement after the 2002 season. Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill called Wilson the “most influential male figure” in his life outside of his father.
“He was someone who truly lived his faith and demonstrated it daily in the kindness he showed every single person he met,” Bidwill said in a statement. “Any of us lucky enough to be in his orbit — whether that was for a few minutes or four decades — was always better off from the experience. I will remember Larry Wilson first as a fantastic person but then obviously as one of the greatest players the National Football League has ever seen.”
Wilson was a seventh-round pick in 1960 and played safety for the Cardinals through the 1972 season. He ranks 26th in NFL history with 52 interceptions and was named the NFL’s defensive player of the year in 1966. He was a six-time first-team All-Pro, a member of the league’s 75th and 100th anniversary teams and elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1978.
Wilson would go on to serve as scouting director, personnel director and General Manager after his playing days. He also did a stint as the team’s interim head coach in 1979.
Our condolences go out to Wilson’s family and loved ones on their loss.