Leon Hart won the Heisman Trophy and the Maxwell Award in 1949 while at Notre Dame and played in the National Football League for eight seasons with the Detroit Lions. Hart holds the distinction of being the only lineman to win three national titles in both college and the pros. He was the last and one of only two linemen ever to win the Heisman Trophy. He is only one of two players ever to win the Heisman Trophy, a consensus national championship, and become the number 1 pick in the NFL draft all in the same year.
He campaigned tirelessly for decades, and ultimately successfully, to have NFL pension benefits retroactively applied to those who played prior to 1959. Although financially set himself, he fought for his teammates who needed the benefits.
He was a purist when it came to football said his teammate Jack Landry in an interview following Leon’s death. He believed in 11 men battling 11 men (playing both offense and defense), he believed in rock ‘em - sock ‘em football. “And he did rock ‘em and sock ‘em!”