Legendary NFL quarterback Joe Kapp died Monday at age 85 following a years-long dementia battle, his son J.J. told the San Francisco Chronicle.
The former Vikings star is famous for leading the team to an NFL Championship and Super Bowl appearance during the 1969 season, according to Fox News. He earned widespread respect and notoriety for his brazen approach to the sport and his passionate, fearless plays.
Former NFL quarterback Joe Kapp dead at 85 https://t.co/mECtuMjot0 pic.twitter.com/O0n9zGAEYn
— New York Post (@nypost) May 9, 2023
Kapp was known for seeking out defensive players rather than trying to avoid them, and he demonstrated superior athletic skills on the field. His family believes the grueling intensity he endured while playing the sport sparked his issues with Alzheimer’s, the Chronicle reported.
The Santa Fe, New Mexico, native was a stellar player who led the Golden Bears to a Rose Bowl in 1958.
Kapp was selected by the then-Washington Redskins in the 1959 NFL Draft, but he did not end up playing for the team. He began his professional career with the Canadian Football League’s Calgary Stampeders and then for the B.C. Lions. The Lions achieved their first Grey Cup title in 1964 with Kapp’s help. (RELATED: Legendary News Anchor John Roland Dead At 81)
“We had the whole province behind us that year, from Premier Bennett on down,” Joe Kapp said of @BCLions first Grey Cup title in 1964. “It was my most gratifying experience as a football player, and I played in the Rose Bowl and the Super Bowl.” A QB legend. Gone at 85. RIP Joe pic.twitter.com/j9bqWd9IOP
— Mike Beamish (@sixbeamers) May 9, 2023
Kapp was named one of the 50 greatest players in Vikings’ history, and served as the general manager of the Lions and head coach of Arena Football’s Sacramento Attack, according to Fox. He also scored a number of minor acting roles, appearing in “The Six Million Dollar Man,” “The Longest Yard” and “The Frisco Kid.”