Ernie Davis | Ernie Davis Story | 1960 Cotton Bowl | Ernie Davis Biography | Heisman Trophy | Cleveland Browns | Image Awards | Ernest Davis
Ernest ( Ernie ) Davis, 14th December 1939 – 18th May 1963,born in New Salem, Pennsylvania, was an American football running back and the first African-American athlete to win the Heisman Trophy.
Davis was the number-one pick in the 1962 NFL Draft, becoming the first African American football player to be taken first overall. Selected by the Washington Redskins, his rights were then traded to the Cleveland Browns.
Davis signed a three-year, $200,000 contract with the Browns in late December 1961 while he was in San Francisco, California practicing for the East-West Shrine Game. However, the Browns’ dream of pairing Davis with Jim Brown in the backfield took a tragic turn when Davis was diagnosed with leukemia during preparations for the 1962 College All-Star Game.
Davis never played a game as a professional, with his only appearance at Cleveland Stadium coming during a 1962 pre-season game, in which he ran onto the field as a spotlight followed him.
In the summer of 1962, Davis was diagnosed with acute monocytic leukemia and began receiving medical treatment. The disease was incurable and he died in Cleveland Lakeside Hospital May 18,1963 at the age of 23. Both the House and the Senate of the United States Congress eulogized him.
A motion picture biography, The Express, directed by Gary Fleder and based on the non-fiction book The Elmira Express, the Story of Ernie Davis by Robert C. Gallagher, began production in April 2007 and was released on October 10, 2008.
HBO in his recently released film The Express (also known as The Ernie Davis Story). Our favorite short-order cook from Alan Ball’s hit HBO TV vampire series True Blood, stars in this biopic of American footballer Ernie Davis, who the first African-American to win the Heisman Trophy during his spectacular sporting career on the college circuit between 1958 and 1962.
The film earned a nomination for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture for Rob Brown at the 2009 Image Awards.