Andy Robustelli — father of nine, grandfather of 29, Navy veteran, and businessman — died Tuesday morning in his hometown of Stamford, Conn, from complications following major surgery.
Robustelli played professional football for 13 seasons with the L.A. Rams and the New York Giants.
An undersized but cerebral defensive end, Robustelli helped the Rams to their first NFL title in his rookie year of 1951, before being traded to the Giants so that he could be closer to his Stamford home. In his ten years with the Giants, Robustelli led the defense and helped the team to an NFL title (in his first season) and six other conference championships. He was a seven-time Pro Bowler, and in 1962 won the Bert Bell award as the NFL’s best player.
When he retired, he held the NFL record for most career fumble recoveries, 22, and holds the distinction of being the only player to appear in the first two televised NFL games. An inaugural member of the Giants Ring of Honor, Robustelli was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 1971, alongside Jim Brown and Vince Lombardi — fitting company.
Andy Robustelli, No. 81 (to his left, Y.A. Tittle, No. 14, and Frank Gifford, No. 16)