(CNN) — Bart Starr, the Hall of Fame Green Bay Packers quarterback who won the first two Super Bowl titles in the 1960s, died at the age of 85 in Birmingham, Alabama, the Packers said.
Starr, who won five National Football League championships for the Packers, had been in failing health since suffering a stroke in 2014, according to the Packers.
“We are saddened to note the passing of our husband, father, grandfather, and friend, Bart Starr,” his family said in a statement. “He battled with courage and determination to transcend the serious stroke he suffered in September 2014, but his most recent illness was too much to overcome.”
“While he may always be best known for his success as the Packers quarterback for 16 years, his true legacy will always be the respectful manner in which he treated every person he met, his humble demeanor, and his generous spirit.”
‘Ice Bowl’ play
The family also thanked the friends and fans who had enriched Starr’s life over the decades, especially over the last five years.
“His love for all of humanity is well known, and his affection toward the residents of Alabama and of Wisconsin filled him with gratitude. He had hoped to make one last trip to Green Bay to watch the Packers this fall, but he shall forever be there in spirit,” his family said.
After graduating from the University of Alabama, Starr played for the Packers from 1956-71 as professional football was becoming the most popular sport in America. He is best known for his game-winning QB sneak in the bitterly cold championship matchup against the Dallas Cowboys in December 1967, a game known as the “Ice Bowl.”
Starr was named the Most Valuable Player of the first two Super Bowls ever played, and he was also named the league’s MVP in 1966. He was elected to the NFL Hall of Fame and led the Packers as head coach from 1975 to 1983.