Charley Taylor, the Hall of Fame receiver who spent his entire career as a player and coach with the Washington Commanders, passed away on Saturday at an assisted living facility in Virginia, the New York Times reports. He was 80.
In an official statement, the Washington Commanders confirmed his passing but did not release a cause of death.
“We are incredibly saddened to hear the news about the passing of the great Charley Taylor,” Washington owners Danx and Tanya Snyder said in a team statement. “Charley is a member of the Washington Ring of Fame and one of the most decorated players in franchise history. He retired as the NFL’s all-time leader in receptions and holds our franchise record for total touchdowns. His achievements were recognized by the entire NFL community with his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1984. He represented the organization with excellence and class over three decades as a player and coach. Charley was a great man and will be sorely missed by all. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Patricia and the entire Taylor family during this time.”
Born on Sept. 28, 1941, in Grand Prairie, Texas, Taylor began his career as a standout running back at Arizona State University. During his collegiate career with the Sun Devils, he gained nearly 2,000 total yards and 25 touchdowns while averaging 5.7 yards per carry.
Selected as the third overall pick of the 1964 draft, he posted 1,569 yards from scrimmage during his rookie season and was named the AP Rookie of the Year.
As one of the most accomplished players of his era, Taylor caught 649 passes for 9,110 yards and 79 touchdowns with Washington ranking him second in franchise history in catches and yards and he still holds the record for the most receiving touchdowns in the team’s history. He also ran 442 times for 1,488 yards and 11 touchdowns.
A perennial loser before his arrival, Taylor helped turn Washington into one of the top teams in the league, making an appearance in Super Bowl VII.
When he retired, Taylor earned eight Pro Bowl selections, was the NFL's all-time leading receiver and was enshrined into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1984.
After his remarkable career, Taylor spent 16 years working with the Redskins as a scout and coach, helping the team win three Super Bowls.
"I would like to say that I had some of the greatest and most moral support that one player could have in a lifetime," he said in his Hall of Fame speech, "and I had it in Washington."
Taylor is survived by his wife, Patricia (Grant) Taylor; their three children, Elizabeth, Erica, and Charles Jr.; and several grandchildren.
We extend our prayers and deepest condolences to the family and friends of Charley Taylor.