Kerkorian, ex-Colts QB, dies of cancer

Predecessor to Unitas with team for 3 seasons

May 23, 2000|By John Steadman

Gary Kerkorian, a predecessor of John Unitas as Baltimore Colts quarterback, died yesterday of lung cancer at age 70 in Fresno, Calif. Kerkorian had been a judge in the California court system for more than 20 years.

The Stanford graduate played for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1952 and with the Colts from 1954 through 1956. Jim Mutscheller, his former roommate, said, "He was just a first-rate gentleman, studious and a friend to everyone."

Kerkorian attended the 40th reunion of the 1958 NFL title-winning Colts in Baltimore two years ago because he had become an emergency member of the team when Unitas was injured. He wasn't needed in any games since George Shaw filled the void. But Kerkorian would commute to Stanford for law classes during the week and fly to NFL cities to be available for games on Sundays that year.

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