‘Grey Ghost' dies at 84

Hall of Famer passes away Saturday night

Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Canadeo, the second Packer ever to have his number retired, died Saturday in Green Bay at age 84.

Canadeo starred for the Packers from the mid-1940s and early 1950s.  He became the third 1,000-yard rusher in NFL history with a 1,052-yard season for the Packers in 1949. Canadeo achieved that milestone when the league's regular-season slate contained just 12 games. He led the Packers in rushing in 1943 and 1946-49.

"He was probably one of the best all-around players in Packer history," said Packer Executive Director of Public Relations Lee Remmel, speaking for the organization Saturday.

"He could do just about anything. He was a good runner, a good blocker, a good returner and a good receiver," Remmel said. "He was one of the toughest players the Packers have ever had, an extremely hard-nosed player.

Canadeo earned the nickname "Grey Ghost" at Gonzaga, where he played college football.

Canadeo, born May 5, 1919 in Chicago, was selected by the Packers in the seventh round of the 1941 draft. He became a starter in 1943, leaving briefly to serve in the military, then returning in 1946.

Although his Packer career ended in 1952, Canadeo kept up his association with the team and the city for the rest of his life. He served as a broadcaster, a member of the organization's executive committee and remained one of the directors emeritus.  Canadeo was a business owner in Green Bay until his retirement, and remained a resident of the city from his playing days until he passed away Saturday at St. Mary's Hospital Medical Center on Green Bay's west side.

Canadeo is immortalized at Lambeau Field along with the team's other Hall of Famers He was inducted into the Canton, Ohio institution in 1974.

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