American Football Database
American Football Database
Walter Camp Distinguished American Award
Awarded forAn individual who has used his or her talents to attain great success in business, private life or public service and who may have accomplished that which no other has done
Presented byWalter Camp Football Foundation
CountryUnited States
First awarded1978
Currently held byFloyd Little
Official websiteWebsite

The Walter Camp Distinguished American Award is presented by the Walter Camp Football Foundation to an individual who has used his or her talents to attain great success in business, private life or public service and who may have accomplished that which no other has done.

The recipient does not have to have participated in football but must understand its lesson of self-denial, cooperation and teamwork and who is a person of honesty, integrity and dedication. He or she must be a leader, an innovator, even a pioneer, who has reached a degree of excellence which distinguished him or her from contemporaries and who lives within the principles of Walter Camp.

2008 Distinguished American Award Winner

Pro football Hall of Fame quarterback Len Dawson (Purdue) is the recipient of the 2008 Walter Camp “Distinguished American” award. A standout quarterback who also played defense and served as the kicker at Purdue, Dawson was selected in the first round by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1957 NFL Draft. In 1962, Dawson signed with Dallas Texans in the American Football League and was named AFL MVP. A year later, the franchise moved to Kansas City and were renamed the Chiefs.

Dawson made his mark as the leader of the Chiefs, leading the team to three AFL titles (1962, 1966 and 1969) and one Super Bowl championship in 1969. Named the Super Bowl MVP, Dawson led the Chiefs to a 23-7 win over the heavily-favored Minnesota Vikings. Dawson was a five-time All-Pro selection and was named to the Pro Bowl seven times. He retired in 1975 after throwing for over 28,700 career yards. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987.

Walter Camp Distinguished American Award Honorees

2012Tom Osborne, Hastings College
2011Floyd Little, Syracuse
2010Chuck Bednarik, Pennsylvania
2009Robin Roberts, Southeastern Louisiana
2008Len Dawson, Purdue
2007Frank Broyles, Georgia Tech
2006Dick Vermeil, San Jose State
2005Arthur Blank, Babson
2004Pat Summerall, Arkansas
2003Bill Walsh, San Jose State
2002Regis Philbin, Notre Dame
2001—New York City Police, Fire, and Emergency Medical Service Personnel
2000Gene Upshaw, Texas A&I
1999Bo Schembechler, Miami (Ohio)
1998Steve Young, Brigham Young
1997Steve Largent, Tulsa
1996Dick Ebersol, Yale
1995Keith Jackson, Washington State
1994Paul Tagliabue, Georgetown
1993Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C.
1992Cami Cozza, Miami (Ohio)/Yale
1991Alexander Kroll, Rutgers
1990Tex Schramm, Texas
1989Dick Kazmaier, Princeton
1989Burt Reynolds, Florida State
1988Sid Luckman/Y.A. Tittle, Columbia/Louisiana State
1987Weeb Ewbank, Miami (Ohio)
1986Tom Landry, Texas
1985Bob Hope
1984Bill Carpenter, United States Military Academy
1983Tom Harmon, Michigan
1982Eddie Robinson, Grambling State
1981Harold "Red" Grange, Illinois
1980Alexander Haig, United States Military Academy
1980George Halas, Illinois
1979David "Sonny” Werblin, Rutgers
1978Jim Crowley Notre Dame

See also