Pro­lific re­ceiver in AFL, NFL

Los Angeles Times - - OBITUARIES - As­so­ci­ated Press news.obits@la­times.com

Art Pow­ell, who led the AFL in re­ceiv­ing yards in back-to-back years for the New York Ti­tans and Oak­land Raiders, has died. He was 78.

Pow­ell died Mon­day night at his home near San Diego. The San Diego Union-Tri­bune re­ported that Pow­ell had been deal­ing with heart and other health prob­lems and had re­cently spent a week in the hos­pi­tal.

The Raiders said in a state­ment that Pow­ell’s “strong con­vic­tions and ath­letic prow­ess helped shape the pro foot­ball land­scape of the 1960s.”

Pow­ell, 6 feet 3 and 211 pounds, played 10 years in the NFL and AFL for the Ea­gles, Ti­tans, Raiders, Bills and Vik­ings. He led the AFL with 1,130 yards re­ceiv­ing in 1962 for the Ti­tans be­fore join­ing the Raiders the fol­low­ing sea­son.

He had his best suc­cess in Oak­land, lead­ing the AFL with 1,301 yards and 16 touch­down catches in 1963 in Al Davis’ first year as coach. Pow­ell had 1,361 yards re­ceiv­ing the next sea­son.

He ended his ca­reer with 479 catches for 8,046 yards and 81 touch­downs. He was a first-team All-Pro in 1960 and 1963 and made four Pro Bowls.

Pow­ell came from a fam­ily of ath­letes. He was born Feb. 25, 1937, in Dal­las. His fa­ther, a stand­out in ten­nis, golf and base­ball, and mother moved to San Diego to raise their large fam­ily.

Pow­ell was a star bas­ket­ball and foot­ball player at San Diego City Col­lege and San Jose State. He played the 1959 sea­son in the NFL with Philadel­phia but left the team af­ter re­fus­ing to stay in sep­a­rate quar­ters from white play­ers dur­ing an ex­hi­bi­tion in Nor­folk, Va.

“The chal­lenges that were be­fore me were so­cial chal­lenges,” Pow­ell told the Con­tra Costa Times in 2007. “I chose to chal­lenge ’em while oth­ers chose not to. ... I made a lot of peo­ple an­gry.”

Pow­ell’s older brother, Char­lie, who played in the NFL and boxed against Muham­mad Ali when Ali was known as Cas­sius Clay, died last year.

Robert Klein As­so­ci­ated Press

A 10-YEAR PRO FOOT­BALL CA­REER Re­ceiver Art Pow­ell is at right in this pho­to­graph of six Oak­land Raiders who were named to the As­so­ci­ated Press’ 1963

AFL All-Star team. At cen­ter is Coach Al Davis.

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