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Leon Hart


Leon Joseph Hart

Inducted 1973

Date of Birth



Pittsburgh, PA


University of Notre Dame (1946-1949)


Leon Hart came from Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania; and played four years at right end for Notre Dame, 1946-49. In that span Notre Dame went 36-0-2 and won three national championships. Hart was a first team All-America three times, won the 1949 Heisman and Maxwell Awards and was 1949 Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year. He was the second lineman to win the Heisman (the first: Larry Kelley Yale end, 1936) and the second lineman to win the Maxwell (the first: Charles Bednarik, Pennsylvania center, 1948). Coach Frank Leahy remembered Hart best for his spectacular touchdown that tied Southern California in a 14-point battle in 1948. Hart took a 25-yard pass from Frank Tripucka and shook no fewer than eight Southern Cal tacklers on his way to the TD. Hart was the Detroit Lions' number one draft choice in 1950 and earned All-Pro defensive laurels the following season. Then, in 1951, he became the last player selected All-Pro on both offense and defense. During his eight years with the Lions, Detroit won four division and three league titles. In his college career he caught 49 passes for 742 yards and 13 touchdowns.


Height 6'5

Weight 257

Career Highlights

  • 1949 Heisman Trophy Winner
  • 1949 Maxwell Award Winner
  • 1949 Unanimous All-America
  • 1948 Consensus All-America
  • 1947 First Team All-America
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