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How Did Bart Starr Die? New Details On The Death Of Green Bay Packers' Legend Who Leaves Behind Beloved Wife Cherry

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How Did Bart Starr Die? New Details On The Death Of Green Bay Packers' Legend Who Leaves Behind Beloved Wife Cherry

It takes a special kind of person to truly stand out on a professional sports team. Sure, you can cover yourself in tattoos and give outrageous sound bites to the media, but that kind of star quickly loses their luster (I'm looking at you, Dennis Rodman). Those who truly stand the test of time and earn a place of honor in the hearts of fans usually have some something a little extra special. Bart Starr was one of these players. In addition to becoming an iconic member of the Green Bay Packers, Bart Starr made an impact on the lives of the people around him and his community. He didn't do it alone, either. Here's what we know about Bart's passing, and about his relationship with his wife, Cherry Starr. How did Bart Starr die?

1. His Death 

Legendary football player, Bart Starr, died at his home in Birmingham, Alabama on May 26th, 2019 at the ripe old age of 85.  In 2014, Bart suffered a serious stroke but was able to keep fighting for another five years. Ultimately, the stress on his body was just too much and after putting up a valiant battle, he shuffled off his mortal coil leaving behind family and friends who adore him. 

"We are saddened to note the passing of our husband, father, grandfather, and friend, Bart Starr. He battled with courage and determination to transcend the serious stroke he suffered in September 2014. But his most recent illness was too much to overcome," is what part of the statement issued by Bart's family read. They clearly knew the impact he had on the world around him. 

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2. The Green Bay Packers 

Bart Starr became a football legend when he started playing quarterback for the Green Bay Packers in 1959. With a coach at the helm like Vince Lombardi and a player with the gifts of Starr, it's no wonder that Starr's time playing for the team has gone down in the history books for those who follow the sport. With Starr as their quarterback, the NFL team actually won five NFL titles in total, something that was unheard of at the time. One of the most notorious of these wins took place at what is now known as the "Ice Bowl" where the Packers beat the Dallas Cowboys in frigid weather conditions — it was -17 degrees during the time they played! 

3. His beloved wifes 

For more than 60 years, Bart remained a class act, something many people credit to his marriage (of equal length) to his longtime sweetheart, Cherry Starr. Both Cherry and Bart were just 20-years-old when their eyes locked for the first time. Of course, Bart wasn't rich and famous then, but Cherry married him anyway, even if it meant getting changed into her wedding dress in a muddy service station in Mississippi! 

But starting off their nuptials during the lean time made things easier for them when fame did strike. Cherry made sure Bart kept his head on his shoulders. “We have wonderful memories, but people think it’s so glamorous being married to a football player,” Cherry said. “It’s a hard life and a very different life. There are a lot of temptations in the game because people are attracted to athletes because they’re athletes … and there’s a lot of stress because most of the players are fighting to maintain their positions.”

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4. Tragedies 

For all of the triumphs and joys that Bart experienced in his time on Earth, his life was not free of tragedies or hardships. For example, Bart and Cherry's youngest son, Bret, died of a drug overdose when he was just 24-years-old after developing a cocaine addiction in his teenage years. Although it was their connection to their family and to each other that helped them both through this incredible loss, it wasn't the only problem they would face together. Prior to her husband's stroke and eventual death, Cherry faced a battle of her own after she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. She overcame it in time to tend to her husband in his final days. 

5. Giving Back

There's a reason Bart and Cherry are so adored and it isn't just because of Bart's time as a legendary football player, either. In their time in the limelight, the couple became very well known for their work within the community, particularly when it came to working with at-risk communities, and at-risk youths. According to the Packers, “Bart and Cherry were generous benefactors to many organizations and causes, most notably Rawhide Boys Ranch, which was established in 1965 near New London, Wisconsin, to serve at-risk youth and families."

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Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cats, Batman and Margot. She's an experienced generalist with a passion for lifestyle, geek news, pop culture, and true crime. For more of her work, check out her Tumblr