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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jim Vellone
No. 63
Personal information
Born:(1944-08-20)August 20, 1944
Camp Lejeune, North Carolina
Died:August 21, 1977
Orange, California
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:255 lb (116 kg)
Career information
High school:Whittier (CA) California
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Player stats at PFR

James Carl Vellone (August 20, 1944 - August 21, 1977) was a guard in the National Football League. Vellone spent his entire five-year career for the Minnesota Vikings, starting in most of his appearances during this span. Vellone helped the Vikings win the 1969 NFL Championship and also started in Super Bowl IV, the first Super Bowl appearance for the Vikings franchise. Vellone's career and life were cut short due to Hodgkin's lymphoma.

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College career

Before he joined the pro leagues, Vellone played college football for two years at the University of Southern California. Prior to joining the USC Trojans, Vellone was a Junior College All-American guard at Cerritos College.[1] For two seasons while in Minnesota (1968–1969), Vellone was a teammate of offensive tackle Ron Yary, who likewise was a star lineman at Cerritos College and at USC.


Jim Vellone abruptly retired from the NFL in 1971 when he discovered he had Hodgkin's lymphoma.[2] He spent the final six years of his life undergoing treatments and chemotherapy. Although managing to live a normal life for some time, Vellone finally succumbed to the cancerous disease on August 21, 1977, a day after his 33rd birthday, at St. Joseph's Hospital in Orange, California. According to a brief article in the St. Petersburg Times (Fla.) newspaper two days after his death, friends said that Vellone checked into St. Joseph's, due to breathing problems.[3]

Jim Vellone left behind a wife, Linda, and two sons Eric and John.


  1. ^ "The Evening Independent (St. Petersburg, Fla.), Aug. 22, 1977".
  2. ^ "Herald-Journal (Spartanburg Herald), Aug. 23, 1977".
  3. ^ ""Hodgkin's disease fatal to Vellone." St. Petersburg Times, Aug. 23, 1977".

External links

This page was last edited on 16 July 2018, at 00:16
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