For the gridiron football wide receiver, see Leo Lewis (wide receiver).
Leo Lewis
No. 29     
Personal information
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
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
Career highlights and awards
  • N/A
College Football Hall of Fame
Canadian Football Hall of Fame

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]

College[edit | edit source]

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[edit | edit source]

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 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.

Lewis was inducted into the Black College Football Hall of Fame in February 2018 Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Missouri.

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

Leo Lewis died on Friday August 30, 2013 at his home in Missouri. He had been battling illness for some time, his sons advised. He was 80 years old.[2]

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

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