Former Lion Altie Taylor Dies at 62

Posted Mar 19, 2010

Running Back Ended His Seven-Year Career in Detroit as Lions’ All-Time Rusher

Allen Park, Mich. — Former Detroit Lions’ running back Altie Taylor died Sunday (March 14) at his home in Sacramento, CA.  He was 62.

Taylor was the Lions’ first selection in the 1969 draft as one of the club’s two second-round picks after a standout career at Utah State.  A strong, quick 5-10, 200-pound back, Taylor led the Lions in rushing three straight seasons (1972-74).  He was voted the club’s offensive MVP in ’73 after rushing for 719 yards and three touchdowns.

Taylor ended his seven-year career (1969-75) with the Lions as the club’s all-time leading rusher with 4,297 yards after he passed previous leader Nick Pietrosante during the 1975 season.  He currently ranks fourth in Lions’ career rushing behind Barry Sanders (15,269), Billy Sims (5,106) and Dexter Bussey (5,105).   Taylor finished his career with Houston in 1976.

The Lions’ “No. 42” started 83 of his 91 games in Detroit and scored a total of 30 touchdowns --- 24 rushing and six receiving.

Taylor was a part of a powerful Lions’ rushing attack in the early-to-mid 1970s that included Mel Farr, Steve Owens, Dexter Bussey, Horace King and one of the game’s top running quarterbacks, Greg Landry.  In 1971 the Lions rushed for an impressive 2,376 yards in 14 games on the heels of Owens (1,035), Taylor (career-high 736) and Landry (530).
Taylor finest Lions’ day came in a 34-0 romp over the Green Bay Packers on October 28, 1973 in Tiger Stadium.  He rushed for a career-best 160 yards on 23 careers and scored one touchdown.

The viewing will be held on Monday, March 22 at Dan Scales Funeral Services, Inc. (107 W.8th Street, Pittsburg, CA 94565) from 3-8 PM. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, March 23 at 11 AM at First Baptist Church (204 Odessa Ave., Pittsburg, CA 94565).