boston.com News your connection to The Boston Globe

Bob Mann, 82, NFL star

DETROIT -- Bob Mann, one of the Detroit Lions' first black players and a star receiver during the 1940s and '50s, died Oct. 21. He was 82.

In 1948, Mr. Mann and halfback Mel Groomes became the Lions' first black players. In 1949, he set a team record for receptions and became the club's first 1,000-yard receiver. He led the NFL that year in yards receiving.

The Lions traded Mr. Mann to the New York Yanks in 1950 for future Hall of Famer Bobby Layne. Mr. Mann was released by the Yanks and ended his career with Green Bay in 1951.

Mr. Mann was born in North Carolina and played in college at Michigan. After his NFL career, he became a lawyer and worked in Detroit.

Mr. Mann leaves his wife of 50 years, Vera; and two daughters.

SEARCH THE ARCHIVES
 
Today (free)
Yesterday (free)
Past 30 days
Last 12 months
 Advanced search / Historic Archives