top of page

Ernie Davis Buried in Elmira

May 22, 1963 - Elmira, N.Y. paid final tribute today to Ernie Davis (pictured with President Kennedy in 1961), the 23-year-old football star who died of leukemia Saturday in Cleveland. Sixteen hundred persons jammed the sanctuary and the basement of the First Baptist Church and more than 3,000 stood in a park during the 15-minute service, conducted by 5 ministers. Mr. Davis’s mother, Mrs. Arthur Radford, collapsed in an automobile after the all-America player and only Negro to win the Heisman Trophy had been buried in Woodlawn Cemetery. The funeral was attended by representatives of Syracuse University, for whom he had starred as a halfback; the Cleveland Browns of the NFL, with whom he had signed an $80,000 contract; and other NFL teams. During the service, a telegram from President Kennedy was read, in which the President described Mr. Davis as “an outstanding young man of great character who consistently served as an inspiration to the young people of the country.”


bottom of page