Charlie Conerly

Charlie Conerly
Charlie Conerly
No. 42     
Personal information
Date of birth: September 19, 1921(1921-09-19)
Clarksdale, Mississippi
Date of death: February 13, 1996(1996-02-13) (aged 74)
Memphis, Tennessee
Career information
College: Mississippi
NFL Draft: 1945 / Round: 13 / Pick: 127
Debuted in 1948 for the New York Giants
Last played in 1961 for the New York Giants
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Stats at
College Football Hall of Fame

Charles Albert Conerly, Jr. (September 19, 1921 – February 13, 1996) was an American football quarterback in the National Football League for the New York Giants from 1948 through 1961. Conerly was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1966.


College career

Conerly attended and played college football at the University of Mississippi. He originally started at Mississippi in 1942, but left to serve as a Marine in the South Pacific during World War II where he fought in the Battle of Guam.[1][2] He returned to Mississippi in 1946 and led the team to their first Southeastern Conference championship in 1947.[2] During that season, he led the nation in pass completions with 133, rushed for nine touchdowns and passed for 18 more, was a consensus All-America selection, and was named Player of the Year by the Helms Athletic Foundation.[2]

Conerly lettered at Ole Miss in 1942 and 1946-47. He was considered one of the greatest players in Ole Miss football history. He played the tailback position for the Rebels, but handled all of the passing chores. He earned consensus All-America in 1947 when he led the Rebels to a record of 9-2 including a 13-9 win over TCU in the Delta Bowl in Crump Stadium in Memphis, TN. Conerly's 1947 squad had upset wins over Kentucky (14-7 in Oxford), Florida (14-6 in Jacksonville, FL), LSU (20-18 in Baton Rouge), and Tennessee (43-13 in Memphis). He placed fourth in the Heisman Trophy balloting and was a two-time All SEC performer. He was named Player of the Year and Back of the Year of the SEC in 1947.

He set numerous school records and still ranked 12th in 2008 in career total offense with 3,076 yards. He was ranked 12th in career passing with 2,313 yards and 26 TDs.

Conerly also played baseball at Mississippi, where he hit .467 in 1948 and was offered a professional contract.[2]

He was inducted into the Ole Miss Athletic Hall of Fame in 1987 and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame in 1966. Conerly is also a member of the Ole Miss Team of the Century (1893–1992).

Professional career

Conerly was drafted in the eleventh round of the 1945 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins. He played his entire career with the New York Giants as a quarterback, where he was a two-time Pro Bowl selection in 1950 and 1956 and was NFL's Most Valuable Player in 1959 by the Newspaper Enterprise Association .[2]

Conerly was named NFL "Rookie of the Year" in 1948.

He led the Giants to three NFL Championship games in four seasons (1956,1958–59), including a 47-7 victory over the Chicago Bears in the 1956 NFL Championship.

He also portrayed the "Marlboro Man" in commercials after playing for the Giants.[3]

After football

Conerly and his wife Perian (author of the book, Backseat Quarterback) retired to his hometown of Clarksdale, Mississippi, where he spent his final days. Conerly owned shoe stores throughout the Mississippi Delta.

Conerly is the namesake of the football award, the Conerly Trophy, given annually to the top college player in the State of Mississippi.

See also


  1. ^ Bowden (2008), p.112.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Charlie Conerly's College HOF Profile". College Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2008-08-12. 
  3. ^ Gifford and Richmond, pg. 240, 250


  • The Best Game Ever: Giants vs. Colts, 1958, and the Birth of the Modern NFL (2008; ISBN 0-87113-988-X)

External links

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