Leo Lewis (running back)

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Leo Lewis
No. 29
Date of birth (1933-02-04)February 4, 1933
Place of birth Des Moines, Iowa
Date of death August 30, 2013(2013-08-30) (aged 80)
Place of death Columbia, Missouri
Career information
CFL status International
Position(s) RB
Height 5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight 196 lb (89 kg)
College Lincoln
NFL draft 1955 / Round: 6 / Pick: 64
Drafted by Baltimore Colts
Career history
As player
19551966 Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Career highlights and awards
CFL All-Star 1962
CFL West All-Star 1955, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1964
Career stats

Leo Everett Lewis, Jr. (February 4, 1933 – August 30, 2013) was an American college football player (running back) for Lincoln University of Missouri in the 1950s (1951–54), who continued his success with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League (1955–1966).[1]


As a running back at Lincoln University Lewis was nicknamed " The Lincoln Locomotive".

Lewis still holds school records for touchdowns in a season (22), touchdowns in a career (64), rushing yards in a season (1,239) and career rushing yards (4,457).

Winnipeg Blue Bombers

After a stellar college career, Lewis signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League.

He was named All-Pro six times and eventually earned a spot in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

Lewis was a member of an amazing four Grey Cup winning Blue Bombers teams.

During his 11-year career in the CFL he rushed for 8,861 yards with a 6.6 yard average. He also was a remarkable kick-returner, averaging 29.1 yards on kickoff returns in his CFL career.

Bud Grant, legendary Blue Bombers' (and later head coach of the Minnesota Vikings), considered Leo Lewis the best player he had ever coached, whether in Canada or the United States. Lewis was voted one of the CFL's top 50 players (#29) in a poll conducted by Canadian sports network TSN.

His career rushing total of 8,861 yards stood as a Winnipeg Blue Bomber record for 41 years until it was passed by Charles Roberts in 2007. His career totals in return yardage, and yards per carry, still stand as Blue Bombers records.

Lewis was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1973.

He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in August 2005.

Also, in 2005, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the team the Blue Bombers named their 20 All-Time Blue Bombers Greats, of which Lewis was a member.

He was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in 2005.

He had three children, two of whom played professional gridiron football (one for the Minnesota Vikings – Leo Lewis III – and the other for the USFL Denver Gold and Oakland Invaders and the CFL's Ottawa Rough Riders and the Calgary Stampeders – Marc Lewis).

Leo Lewis died on Friday August 30 at his home in Missouri. He had been battling illness for some time, his sons advised. He was 80 years old.[2]


  1. Aug 30, 2013 9:18 PM CT. "Former Blue Bombers running back Leo Lewis dies – Manitoba – CBC News". Cbc.ca. Retrieved 2013-08-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. http://www.millardfamilychapels.com/fh/obituaries/obituary.cfm?o_id=2212419&fh_id=10506

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