April 15, 2002

Byron Raymond (Whizzer) White

April 15, 2002
Detroit Lions
Detroit Lions Player (1940-1941)
NFL 1940's All-Decade Team
U.S. Supreme Court Justice

Byron Raymond “Whizzer” White

Detroit Lions Player (1940 - 1941)

Byron “Whizzer” White was born in Fort Collins, Colorado. After graduating as valedictorian of his high school class, White went to the University of Colorado where he played football, baseball and basketball. In his senior season, White led the Buffaloes to an 8 – 0 regular season before losing to Rice in the Cotton Bowl and in the process finishing second in the Heisman Trophy voting. He helped the basketball team reach the finals of the inaugural NIT tournament in 1938. White was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University in England but deferred it a year to play professional football. He was the number four overall draft pick in the 1938 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates (now Steelers) and led the league in rushing as a rookie. After taking a year off from football to continue his studies in England, White joined the Detroit Lions for two seasons and again led the league in rushing. White’s NFL career was cut short when he served as an intelligence officer with the U.S. Navy in World War II. For his service, he was awarded two Bronze Star medals and was honorably discharged. White went on to a law career, eventually serving over 31 years as an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. Byron “Whizzer” White was named to the NFL 1940’s All-Decade Team, had his number “24” retired by the University of Colorado was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame, was inducted into the University of Colorado Athletic Hall of Fame as the greatest Buffalo player ever and was inducted into the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 1962. He passed away on April 15, 2002 at 84 years of age.