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PITTSBURGH — Jack Butler, who helped revolutionize the way cornerbacks played in the NFL during his Hall of Fame career with the Pittsburgh Steelers, died Saturday after a lengthy battle with a staph infection. He was 85.
Mr. Butler’s son John said his father’s heart stopped suddenly Saturday morning.
The Pittsburgh native played wide receiver at St. Bonaventure and had planned to return to school to get his master’s degree when he received a phone call from Steelers business manager Fran Fogarty in the summer of 1951. To be honest, Mr. Butler assumed Fogarty had the wrong number.
‘‘I didn’t know anything about professional football,’’ Mr. Butler said.
It did not matter. During the next nine years, Mr. Butler became one of the NFL’s top defensive backs, a 6-foot-1, 200-pound wrecking ball known for his physical play and uncanny knack for getting to the ball.
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