Claude Humphrey, Pro Football Hall of Famer, dead at 77

ATLANTA — Pro Football Hall of Famer and Atlanta Falcons legend Claude Humphrey has died at age 77.

>> PHOTOS: Claude Humphrey through the years

According to WSB-TV, Humphrey, who played for the Falcons from 1968-78 and the Philadelphia Eagles from 1979-81, died late Friday in Memphis, Tennessee. His family did not say how he died, The Associated Press reported.

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The Memphis native, who attended Tennessee State University, was the Falcons’ No. 3 overall pick in 1968 and went on to become the defensive rookie of the year, according to the AP. He earned first-team All-Pro honors five times and appeared in six Pro Bowls, the news outlets reported.

Humphrey later was named to the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, Falcons Ring of Honor and Black College Football Hall of Fame, according to WSB-TV. In 2014, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

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

Porter added that the Hall’s flag would be flown at half-staff in Humphrey’s honor.

Arthur Blank, owner and chairman of the Falcons, released a statement saying the team was saddened by the news and offered condolences to Humphrey’s family and friends.

“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,” the statement read. “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.”

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.