BREAKING NEWS: AFL, NFL, American Icon, Las Vegas (Oakland) Raiders Legend Jim Otto Passes Away

The world of Pro Football, America, and the Las Vegas (Oakland) Raiders lost a true Icon in the great Jim Otto early this morning.
Oct 1974; Unknown location, USA; FILE PHOTO; Oakland Raiders center (00) Jim Otto during the 1974
Oct 1974; Unknown location, USA; FILE PHOTO; Oakland Raiders center (00) Jim Otto during the 1974 / Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
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Very early Sunday morning, the world lost an AFL, and NFL superstar, American Icon, and Raiders legend when the great Jim Otto passed away.

Born January 5, 1938, he passed away on May 19, 2024. He was 86.

Otto was known around the world as one of the greatest and most Iconic football players ever, but to him, his faith in Jesus Christ, his precious wife Sally, and son Jimmy, Jr., were what he valued the most.

In one of his last interviews, Otto told me of being a Raider: "To me it was hit or be hit, and be the best that you can be. That is what I always wanted to be. I also naturally wanted to be a great football player. It was a type of thing that I could always look back at my high school coach and he would say 'Otto, don't get yout butt beat, you gotta go and beat them,' and I did."

Otto also told me about his greatest moments as a player: "It is pretty hard because I played a long time, and there are so many instances that come to mind that remind me of playing hurt. They remind me of great games when I came off the field bloodied and battered and yet we won the game. Those are victories."

Ever the winner, Otto was beloved by Hollywood superstars and common fans. Raider Nation idolized the man, while football fans around the world, of every team, admired him and respected him.

Politicians, including Ronald Reagan, admired Otto. He was especially close to Buffalo Bills quarterback, Senator, and former Presidential candidate Jack Kemp, and President Gerald Ford.

Known as one of the toughest players ever to play the game, Otto told me, "When I realized the toughness that Jesus Christ showed, loving a sinner like me that didn't deserve it, I recognized I could follow him. That was the most important moment of my life."

Ott'o's son Jimmy Jr. is a Pastor currently in the Teton Valley, in Driggs, Idaho. Jimmy may not have been the football player his father was, but more importantly to Otto, Jimmy dedicates his life to teaching people about the "Toughest man (Jesus Christ)" that the legendary toughest man in football, ever knew.

Per the Raiders Ott's bio is perfection personified.

Inducted into Pro Football Hall of Fame on Aug. 2, 1980...The only All-League center the American Football League ever had (1960-69)...Chosen to Hall of Fame AFL All-Star Team of the Decade...Named the All-American Football Conference center for three more seasons, 1970-72...Started in 210 consecutive league games, most in Raiders history...Including preseason, postseason and all-star games, he played in 308 games as a Raider...Last of the original Raiders...Participated in nine AFL All-Star Games and in the first three AFC-NFC Pro Bowls...During his 15-year career, the Raiders won seven division championships and the AFL Championship in 1967...Twice winner of the Gorman Award (1968 and 1971) as "Player Who Best Exemplifies the Pride and Spirit of the Oakland Raiders"...Selected to AFL-NFL 25-year All-Star Team...Third AFL player inducted into Hall of Fame...Elected to the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility...Rejoined Raiders front office in special projects in 1995.

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You can listen to one of Otto's last interviews, it happened to be with us, above.


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Hondo Carpenter

HONDO CARPENTER

Hondo S. Carpenter Sr. is an award-winning sports journalist who brings decades of experience to his role as editor and publisher, and beat writer for our Las Vegas Raiders and the NFL coverage. Carpenter is a member of the PFWA, FWAA, and USBWA.