Humphrey passed away on Friday, the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced on Saturday.
“The entire Pro Football Hall of Fame family mourns the passing of Claude Humphrey,” Pro Football Hall of Fame President Jim Porter said in a statement. “His humble spirit has guided him on and off the pitch. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Claude family during this difficult time. The Hall of Fame will forever be with you. protect his legacy. The flag of the Hall of Fame will fly half a foot high in memory of Claude.”
Humphrey was selected third overall in the 1968 AFL-NFL draft by the Atlanta Falcons out of Tennessee State and was named AP Defensive Rookie of the Year that season.
Humphrey played a total of 13 seasons in the league, including 10 with Atlanta and 3 with the Philadelphia Eagles before retiring in 1981. During his time at Atlanta, Humphrey won eight All-NFL titles or All-Pro. He has been named an All-NFC seven times and played in six Pro Bowls.
“Known as a hard worker and reliable teammate, Humphrey was always happy to help the team wherever needed and knew that success was achieved collectively,” said Porter.
Humphrey was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2014 and credited with 130 sacks, placing him at number 24 on the NFL’s career leaders list, according to the Hall of Fame.
“We are saddened by the passing of Claude Humphrey and send our prayers to his family and friends during this difficult time,” said Arthur M. Blank, owner and president of the Atlanta Falcons. “.
“Claude has made an indelible impression on so many from Memphis to the Falcons and across the NFL with his leadership and tenacious approach on the field. His Falcons legacy has been cemented. as a memory forever with our participation in Ring of Honor and he will be greatly missed. You may rest in peace.”