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Heisman Winner Blanchard Dies At 84

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BULVERDE, Texas - Felix "Doc" Blanchard, the 1945 Heisman Trophy winner and Army's Mr. Inside in one of college football's most famous backfields, died on April 19, 2009. He was 84.

Blanchard's daughter, Mary Blanchard, told The Associated Press late Sunday night in a phone interview that her father died of pneumonia at home in Bulverde, a small town in central Texas, earlier in the day.

Mary Blanchard said her father had been living with her and husband for about the past 20 years and he had been in good health until recently coming down with pneumonia.

"He's been strong all his life," she said.

The bruising fullback Blanchard, listed at 6 feet, 208 pounds, and Glenn Davis, aka Mr. Outside, helped Army win consecutive national titles in 1944-45.

Notre Dame coach Ed McKeever was quoted as saying about Blanchard in 1944: "I've just seen Superman in the flesh. He wears No. 35 and goes by the name of Blanchard."

The year after Blanchard became the first junior to win the Heisman Trophy, Davis won it and Army went undefeated again.

With Blanchard and Davis, Army went 27-0-1 from 1944-46.

Blanchard, who also played linebacker and handled place-kicking and punting for Army, capped his Heisman Trophy season by scoring three touchdowns in a 32-13 victory against Navy, and he became the first football player to win the Sullivan Award, given to the nation's top amateur athlete.

In November 1945, Davis and Blanchard shared the cover of Time magazine.

Blanchard scored 38 touchdowns and gained 1,908 yards in his three seasons playing at West Point. He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers with the third overall pick, but he never played professional football.

He ended up serving a long career as a fighter pilot in the Air Force, flying in the Korean and Vietnam wars retiring with the rank of Colonel.

He was inducted into the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame in 1959.

Doc Blanchard was born in McColl, S.C., on Dec. 11, 1924, the son of a doctor. He attended prep school in Bay St. Louis, Miss., before enrolling at the University of North Carolina in 1942, and played freshman football. He joined the Army the next year and was later appointed to the U.S. Military Academy in West Point.

Funeral arrangements had not yet been made.

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