On this date in 1936, Raymond Ernest Nitschke was born in Elmwood Park, Illinois. Regarded as one of the best linebackers to ever play the game, Nitschke actually played quarterback in high school. At the University of Illinois, he used his hard hitting style of play at both the fullback and linebacker positions. In 1958, Ray Nitschke was drafted by the Green Bay Packers.
Over his 15 year career, Nitschke was selected as a First-team All Pro three times, a Second-team All Pro four times and won 2 Super Bowl Championships, all in a Packer’s uniform. In 1978, Ray Nitschke was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Five years later, his #66 uniform was retired by the Green Bay Packers (the fourth of only five numbers retired by the team). In 1994, Ray Nitschke was a unanimous selection to the NFL 75th Anniversary All-Time Team.
Ray Nitschke passed away in 1998 at the age of 61. Today would have been his 73rd birthday.