May 10, 1963 - Gene “Big Daddy” Lipscomb (pictured #76 in 1962), former star in the NFL, died today at the age of 31, apparently after an overdose of drugs. Chemical tests will not be completed until Tuesday, but Dr. Rudiger Breitenecker, assistant Baltimore medical examiner, said: “In the absence of any other cause of death, our presumption is that narcotics were involved.” The police said Mr. Lipscomb was dead on arrival at a Baltimore hospital this morning after an all-night party. Mr. Lipscomb, a five-time NFL All-Pro and two-time NFL champion with the Baltimore Colts, had evidence of “half a dozen recent puncture marks” on his arms, the medical examiner said. The police said they had found a crude syringe — an eye dropper tipped by a hypodermic needle — at the apartment Mr. Lipscomb had visited last night. He collapsed there early this morning. Mr. Lipscomb got his “Big Daddy” nickname during his early days as a player for the Camp Pendleton (Calif.) Marine Corps football team. He exhibited an almost total lack of memory for the names of his teammates and fell back on “Little Daddy” as his usual appellation. They called him “Big Daddy” in return. Mr. Lipscomb once described his talents this way: “I just grab me an armful of men, pick them over until I find the one with the ball, then I throw him down.” However, he unfailingly helped ball carriers to their feet after flattening them. Mr. Lipscomb had numerous troubles in his private life. His mother was stabbed to death when he was 11 years old. As a schoolboy in Detroit, he worked in a steel mill from midnight to 7 a.m., then went to school. He developed into a fierce-looking man who was also an extrovert, a comedian, and a lover of fast cars. His three marriages ended in divorce. Officials of both the Colts and Steelers praised his sportsmanship today and expressed shock and grief at his death.
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