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Ken Kavanaugh


Kenneth William Kavanaugh

Inducted 1963

Date of Birth



Little Rock, AR


Louisiana State University (1937-1939)


Single-wing football did not emphasize the passing game, but that didn't curb the incredible ball-catching talents of Louisiana State's Ken Kavanaugh. A fast and elusive receiver, Kavanaugh teamed with Leo Bird to give the Tigers an aerial combination unrivaled in the South during the late 1930s. Despite the reluctance to pass in those days, Kavanaugh snared 30 Bird throws in nine games, netting 467 yards to lead the nation's receivers in 1939 and earn the Most Valuable Player award in the Southeastern Conference. For his exceptional efforts, Kavanaugh was presented the Knute Rockne Memorial Award that year, the first lineman so honored. Following graduation, Kavanaugh joined the Chicago Bears and was an all-pro end. During World War II, Kavanaugh served as a bomber pilot and flew 30 missions over Germany, winning the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with four Oak Clusters. After the war, he rejoined the Bears to continue a brilliant career. In 1951, he moved to the New York Giants as an assistant coach.


Height 6'3

Weight 203

Career Highlights

  • 1939 All-Conference
  • 1939 Conference MVP
  • 1939 Consensus All-America
  • 1939 Led nation in pass receptions
  • 1938 All-Conference
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