Hall of Fame - Inductee Detail

Leon Hart

Leon Hart


  • Position: End
  • School: Notre Dame
  • High School: Turtle Creek, PA (Turtle Creek HS)
  • Years: 1946-1949
  • Inducted: 1973
  • Place of Birth: Pittsburgh, PA
  • Date of Birth: Nov 02, 1928
  • Place of Death: South Bend, IN
  • Date of Death: Sep 24, 2002
  • Jersey Number: 82
  • Height: 6-5
  • Weight: 257

Member Biography

Leon Hart came from Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania; and played four years at right end for Notre Dame, 1946-49. In that span Notre Dame went 36-0-2 and won three national championships. Hart was All-America three times, won the 1949 Heisman and Maxwell Awards and was 1949 Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year. He was the second lineman to win the Heisman (the first: Larry Kelley Yale end, 1936) and the second lineman to win the Maxwell (the first: Charles Bednarik, Pennsylvania center, 1948). In 1948 he ran the ball 16 times on end-around plays and averaged 14 yards a try. Coach Frank Leahy remembered Hart best for his spectacular touchdown that tied Southern California in a 14-point battle in 1948. Hart took a 25-yard pass from Frank Tripucka and shook no fewer than eight Southern Cal tacklers on his way to the TD. Hart was the Detroit Lions' number one draft choice in 1950 and earned All-Pro defensive laurels the following season. Then, in 1951, he became the last player selected All-Pro on both offense and defense. During his eight years with the Lions, Detroit won four division and three league titles. In his college career he caught 49 passes for 742 yards and 13 touchdowns. Leon Hart was born Novemeber 2, 1928, in Turtle Creek, PA. He died September 24, 2002. His son Kevin Hart, played tight end for Notre Dame from 1977-79.