LSU football legend Billy Cannon died Sunday morning. He was 80-years-old.
Cannon won the Heisman Trophy as a halfback in 1959. He is the only LSU player to win the award. He is best remembered for his punt return against Ole Miss on Halloween night of 1959, leading the Tigers to a 7-3 victory against the Rebels.
Visitation for Cannon began at noon on Wednesday, May 23 at the Maravich Center. The funeral followed. Both events were open to the public.
Billy Cannon passed away peacefully in his home early Sunday morning. He was 80 years old. The entire #LSU family mourns with the Cannons and his loved ones. He will never be forgotten. #20 pic.twitter.com/pCcCbPTmEG— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) May 20, 2018
US Sen. Bill Cassidy released the following statement regarding the passing of LSU football star Billy Cannon:
Others knew of Billy in their own way. I do in several. Growing up, my father would tell of taking my two oldest brothers to the famous LSU-Ole Miss football game. He was at the concession stand buying them popcorn when Billy ran the punt back to win the game. Dad always smiled telling that story.
Later in life, Dr. Billy Cannon treated patients at Angola. I ran a liver clinic there. We would eat lunch together and talk about life and football. In all my interactions with Billy, he was as fine a man as could be. Laura and I hope that great memories soon replace the family’s sense of loss and that they find comfort in the support of the many who loved Billy.
The legend Billy Cannon was always kind + gracious to me. He gladly donated his time to our charity events and was always a huge hit. #LSU's only Heisman Trophy winner to this day. "The Halloween Run" will live on forever, as will Cannon's memory. Rest In Peace, legend. #20 pic.twitter.com/UYEJgwieg3— Jacques Doucet (@JacquesDoucet) May 20, 2018
The NFF mourns passing of @LSUfootball legend & 2008 College Football Hall of Fame inductee Billy Cannon. Cannon twice claimed unanimous All-American honors & 1959 Heisman Trophy. His Halloween Run vs. Ole Miss ranks among greatest plays in history. https://t.co/bSSmzmxblR #20 pic.twitter.com/Hr1Sw72gxp— Football Foundation (@NFFNetwork) May 20, 2018
Most recently, he was the director of the dental program at the Louisiana State Penitentiary.
Billy Cannon's former LSU teammate and lifelong friend, Don "Scooter" Purvis, said Cannon "had a heart of gold" and would do free orthodontic work for his former teammates and friends. He added Cannon "would always give credit to his team and teammates" as a player.
Bunnie Cannon, Billy Cannon's daughter, said two people were extremely instrumental in getting her Father into the College Football Hall of Fame - Herb Vincent and Joe Alleva.
She added the tentative plan is to have a private family service and then a memorial service at the PMAC. Things can change, but those are the families' thoughts at this time. The youngest of Billy Cannon's five children also said she's probably received 500 or so messages/phone calls Sunday. She and the family are simply overwhelmed by the communities' support.
She said her father purchased his first horse in the 1960s named Edie's All. Cannon had 10 to 15 horses on his farm in St. Francisville and three new babies. Feeding the horses and taking care of them was something Cannon thoroughly enjoyed.
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