Danny Lewis
Date of birth: (1936-02-14)February 14, 1936
Place of birth: Freehold Township, New Jersey
Date of death: March 6, 2015(2015-03-06) (aged 79)
Place of death: Detroit, Michigan
Career information
Position(s): Halfback, fullback
NFL Draft: 1958 / Round: 6 / Pick: 73
Playing stats at

Daniel Nathan Lewis (February 14, 1936 – March 6, 2015) was an American football halfback, fullback in the National Football League for the Detroit Lions (1958–1964), the Washington Redskins (1965), and the New York Giants (1966). He played college football at the University of Wisconsin.

Early yearsEdit

Lewis was born in 1936 in Freehold, New Jersey.[1] He played high school football at Freehold High School in Freehold Borough, New Jersey.[2]


Lewis played college football for the Wisconsin Badgers. As a junior in 1956, he totaled 606 yards from scrimmage, including 554 rushing yards on 100 carries for an average of 5.5 yards per carry. As a senior in 1957, he gained 782 yards from scrimmage, including 611 rushing yards on 95 carries for an average of 6.4 yards per carry.[3] His 1957 tally of 611 rushing yards ranked fourth best in the Big Ten Conference.[4]

Professional footballEdit

Lewis was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the sixth round (73rd overall pick) of the 1958 NFL Draft.[1] He played seven years with the Lions form 1958 to 1964. He led the team in 1962 with 488 rushing yards and again in 1963 with 528 rushing yards.[5][6] He was the first African American to lead the Lions in rushing. At the end of his career with the Lions, he ranked fourth in franchise history with 2,698 rushing yards.[7]

In September 1965, Lewis was traded to the Washington Redskins in exchange for a draft choice.[8] Playing at fullback, Lewis ranked second on the Redskins with 343 rushing yards in 1965.[9]

Lewis was cut by the Redskins after the 1965 season. He signed with the Atlanta Falcons in the off-season but was released before the start of the 1966 NFL season. He signed as a free agent with the New York Giants in September 1966.[10] In his final NFL season, Lewis appeared in 13 games for the Giants, rushing for 164 yards on 32 carries.[1]

Family and later yearsEdit

Lewis and his wife, Marian, had three sons. After retiring from football, Lewis worked as Detroit's deputy director of city planning. In March 2015, he died in Detroit of complications from diabetes.[11]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Dan Lewis". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  2. Morris, Tim. "Mayes, Freeman enter Borough’s Athletic Hall" Script error, News Transcript. June 21, 2000. Accessed January 27, 2008.
  3. "Danny Lewis". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  4. "1957 Big Ten Conference Leaders". SR/College Football. Sports Reference LLC.
  5. "1962 Detroit Lions Statistics & Players". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  6. "1963 Detroit Lions Statistics & Players". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  7. "Detroit Lions Career Rushing Leaders". (Sports Reference LLC). Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  8. "Redskins Obtain Lions' Halfback Dan Lewis". The Post-Crescent: p. 15. September 12, 1965.
  9. "1965 Washington Redskins Statistics & Players". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  10. "Lynch on Injury List; Giants Sign Dan Lewis". The Bridgeport Post: p. 24. September 16, 1966.
  11. "Ex-Detroit Lions running back Dan Lewis dies at 79". Detroit Free Press. March 9, 2015.
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