Coroner: Bubba Smith died of drug intoxication

November 02, 2011|By Matt Vensel

Los Angeles County Coroner's officials announced Wednesday that the official cause of death for Bubba Smith, the former Baltimore Colts defensive end who died August 3, was acute drug intoxication and other conditions.

According to The Los Angeles Times, an autopsy found that Smith, 66, had the weight-loss drug phentermine in his system. The coroner also said that he suffered from heart disease and high-blood pressure. The report noted that Smith’s heart was nearly twice the weight of a normal heart and some vessels were nearly blocked.

The 6-foot-7, 280-pound defensive end starred for the Baltimore Colts after they selected him with the first overall pick in the 1967 NFL draft. He played five seasons for the Colts and was a member of the squad that beat the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl V. Smith was a first-team All-Pro in 1971, his final year in Baltimore. He had brief stints with the Oakland Raiders and Houston Oilers before a knee injury forced him to retire in 1976.

Smith forayed a commercial gig with Miller Light into a career in Hollywood, playing Moses Hightower in the great "Police Academy" movies and appearing in television series such as "Blue Thunder" and "Good Times."

In related news, memorabilia from Smith’s estate, including his Bronko Nagurski Legends Award, a Senior Bowl trophy and Pro Bowl trophies, will be auctioned Tuesday. For more information, visit

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