Franco Harris is one of the most beloved Pittsburgh Steelers players in history. Harris was an integral part of the Steelers’ success in the 1970s, earning Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors in nine of his 13 seasons with the team. During his career, Harris rushed for more than 12,000 yards and scored more than 100 touchdowns. His iconic catch in the 1972 Divisional Playoff game against the Oakland Raiders became known as the “Immaculate Reception” and cemented his legacy as a Steeler for the ages.
Franco Harris’ Early Life
Franco Harris was born in Fort Dix, New Jersey in 1950. He was his backing All-American in his running at Pennsylvania State University, where Nittany he led the Lions to a national championship in his two undefeated seasons. Harris was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first round, 13th overall, of the 1972 NFL Draft. His career with the Steelers included nine Pro Bowl selections for him and four Super Bowl wins for him. He holds many records, including the most rushing yards in Steelers history (11,950) and the most touchdowns in Steelers history (91). Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990.
The defining moment in Harris’ career was the “perfect reception”. It was his catch in the 1972 Oakland playoff game against the Raiders that allowed the Steelers to win and ultimately win the Super Bowl. The game was named his best game in NFL history in his 2009 ESPN poll.
Harris retired from the NFL after his 1984 season, finishing his career with 12,120 rushing yards and 91 touchdowns. Harris died in 2021 at the age of 70 from complications of cancer. His memory will live on forever in Pittsburgh and throughout football.
Harris’ Time with the Pittsburgh Steelers
Franco Harris’ NFL career began with a bang when he joined the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1972 as their first-round draft pick. He immediately made an impact on the team, earning a starting position and becoming one of the most important members of the team. During his time with the Steelers, Harris was named to the Pro Bowl nine times and was part of four Super Bowl championship teams.
Harris is best known for his “Immaculate Reception,” an iconic play that occurred during the 1972 playoffs against the Oakland Raiders. In this famous play, Harris caught a tipped pass from quarterback Terry Bradshaw and ran it in for a touchdown, sealing the Steelers’ victory and helping them to advance in the playoffs. This play is often regarded as one of the greatest plays in NFL history and is credited with launching the Steelers’ dynasty.
In his 12 years with the Steelers, Harris compiled 11,950 rushing yards and 91 touchdowns. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990 and had his number 32 jersey retired by the Steelers.
At the time of his death in 2021, Harris remained a beloved member of the Steelers community and was remembered fondly by fans around the world. The cause of his death has not been released.
Harris’ Legacy and Stats
Franco Harris is one of the most renowned players in Pittsburgh Steelers’ history and has a legacy that continues to live on today. During his time with the Steelers, he was an integral part of their success as he helped the team win four Super Bowls. His career stats are impressive, including 12,120 rushing yards, 4,255 receiving yards, and 91 touchdowns. He was selected for nine Pro Bowls and made the Hall of Fame in 1990.
Harris is perhaps best remembered for his “Immaculate Reception” during the 1972 playoffs against the Oakland Raiders. This play is considered one of the greatest plays in NFL history and cemented Harris’ legacy as a Steelers legend.
Sadly, Franco Harris passed away in December 2020 due to complications from dementia and CTE. He will always be remembered as one of the greatest players in Steeler’s history, both for his incredible on-field performance and for his ability to bring a team together. His impact on the game of football and the city of Pittsburgh will never be forgotten.
Franco Harris’ cause of death
On January 30, 2021, the football world was shocked to learn of the death of one of the greatest Steelers of all time, Franco Harris. Died of unknown cause at the age of 72.
Harris had a long and illustrious career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, during which he was inducted into the Pro-His Football Hall of Fame in 1990. He also played for the 1972 team that won the Super Bowl and its legendary “immaculate reception” after a last-second pass from Terry Bradshaw gave the Steelers their first-ever playoff victory.
Harris was a hugely popular character throughout his career, and his death was greeted with grief and respect by fans around the world. His cause of death has not been made public, but his memory will live forever in the hearts and minds of Steelers fans.
Harris’ Immaculate Reception
One of the most memorable plays in NFL history was made by Pittsburgh Steelers running back Franco Harris on December 23, 1972. The play was known as the Immaculate Reception and would forever be remembered in the annals of NFL history. On this day, with the Steelers trailing the Oakland Raiders 7-6 late in the fourth quarter, Pittsburgh quarterback Terry Bradshaw scrambled out of the pocket and threw a long pass into the endzone intended for John Fuqua. Before Fuqua could get to it, however, Franco Harris had leaped up in mid-air, caught the ball, and ran it into the endzone for the winning touchdown.
The play was initially ruled incomplete but the ruling was overturned after further review. It was later deemed that Harris had kept control of the ball throughout the entire play and he was credited with the touchdown. This incredible play marked one of the most iconic moments in NFL history and was a pivotal moment in Franco Harris’ career.
Franco Harris passed away at age 72 on December 16, 2021, due to natural causes. He will always be remembered as a legendary Pittsburgh Steeler for his incredible contributions to the team over the course of his career. The Immaculate Reception will live on as a reminder of Harris’ skill and athleticism, which helped him make one of the most iconic plays in NFL history.