Earl Faison

Earl Faison, a former San Diego Chargers defensive end, died June 12, 2016, according to the team. He was 77.

Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos released a statement:

“On behalf of the Spanos family and the entire Chargers organization, we’d like to express our deepest sympathies to the Faison family. I had the privilege of getting to know Earl through the years.  He was a consummate gentleman with a booming voice and laugh.  His passion for the Chargers and the game of football was unwavering.  As a member of the original Fearsome Foursome, Earl was an integral part of the Chargers’ dominance in the team’s early years, helping lead the team to two American Football League championship games and winning the AFL title in 1963.  His post-football career as an educator is just as accomplished.  He will be missed.”


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Faison was the first overall pick in the 1961 AFL draft. He won the AFL rookie of the year award that year and won the Chargers MVP award as well. He was elected to the AFL All-Star game five times. He was nicknamed “Tree” for his height as he stood 6 foot 5, and for his ability to knock down passes. He led the Chargers to the AFL championship in 1963. He was part of the Chargers' “fearsome foursome” defensive line that also included Ernie Ladd.

After his career was over, Faison became an actor and appeared on "The Beverly Hillbillies.” He later became a high school football coach and principal.

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