Three owners present Hall of Famers tonight, continue 45-year tradition

A 45-year tradition continues tonight as three owners serve as presenters at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony (7:00 PM ET on ESPN, NFL Network and SiriusXM Radio).

At tonight’s enshrinement in Canton, Ohio, New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson presents former Saints linebacker Rickey Jackson, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones introduces former Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith, and former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo, Jr. presents former 49ers receiver Jerry Rice.

“Mr. Benson has always been good to me and stood by me since day one. I owe a great deal of my success to him,” Rickey Jackson said upon selecting Benson.

When he selected Jones, Emmitt Smith tweeted, “I’m honored to have [him] intro me [because] he’s done so much for me in my career.”

“I was floored,” DeBartolo said in February when Rice asked him to serve as his presenter.

Below is a complete list of owners who have presented Hall of Fame enshrinees:

Class of 2010
Rickey Jackson – Tom Benson, New Orleans Saints owner/president
Jerry Rice – Eddie DeBartolo, Jr., former San Francisco 49ers owner
Emmitt Smith – Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys Owner, President and General Manager

Class of 2008
Fred Dean – Eddie DeBartolo, Jr., former San Francisco 49ers owner
Gary Zimmerman – Pat Bowlen, Denver Broncos President & CEO

Class of 2007
Michael Irvin – Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys Owner, President and General Manager
Charlie Sanders – William Clay Ford, Detroit Lions Owner and Chairman

Class of 2006
John Madden – Al Davis, Owner, Oakland Raiders and Hall of
Fame Class of 1992

Class of 1995
Jim Finks – Edward W. McCaskey, Chairman of the Board,
Chicago Bears

Class of 1993
Chuck Noll – Dan Rooney, President, Pittsburgh Steelers
Bill Walsh – Edward J. DeBartolo, Jr. , Owner, 49ers

Class of 1990
Ted Hendricks – Al Davis, Pres. of the General Partner, Raiders

Class of 1989
Mel Blount – Dan Rooney, President, Pittsburgh Steelers
Art Shell – Al Davis, Managing General Partner, Los Angeles Raiders

Class of 1988
Fred Biletnikoff – Al Davis, Managing General Partner, Raiders

Class of 1987
John Henry Johnson – Arthur J. Rooney, Chairman of the Board, Pittsburgh Steelers & HOFer
Gene Upshaw – Al Davis, Managing General Partner, Raiders

Class of 1986
Willie Lanier – Lamar Hunt, Owner, Chiefs
Fran Tarkenton – Max Winter, President, Vikings

Class of 1984
Willie Brown – Al Davis, Managing General Partner, Raiders
Mike McCormack – Paul Brown, McCormack’s Head Coach with Browns

Class of 1983
Sonny Jurgensen – Edward Bennett Williams, President, Redskins
Bobby Mitchell – Edward Bennett Williams, President, Redskins

Class of 1982
Doug Atkins – Edward W. McCaskey, Vice-President, Bears
George Musso – George Halas, CEO, Bears and Musso’s First NFL Coach

Class of 1981
George Blanda – Al Davis, Managing General Partner, Raiders

Class of 1980
Jim Otto – Al Davis, Managing General Partner, Raiders

Class of 1978
Lance Alworth – Al Davis, Managing General Partner, Raiders and former Chargers End Coach
Weeb Ewbank – Paul Brown, General Manager, Bengals Browns Coach Who Gave Ewbank His First Coaching Job

Class of 1977
Frank Gifford – Wellington T. Mara, President, Giants
Gale Sayers – George Halas, Chairman of the Board, Bears
Bill Willis – Paul Brown, General Manager, Bengals and Willis’ coach at Ohio State and Browns

Class of 1975
George Connor – George Halas, Connor’s Coach with Bears
Dante Lavelli – Paul Brown, Lavelli’s Coach with Browns

Class of 1974
Bill George – Edward W. McCaskey, VP/Treasurer, Bears
Lou Groza – Paul Brown, Head Coach/GM, Bengals and Groza’s Coach with Browns

Class of 1973
Joe Schmidt – William Clay Ford, Owner/President, Lions

Class of 1972
Lamar Hunt – William H. Sullivan, Jr., President, Patriots
Gino Marchetti – Carroll D. Rosenbloom, Owner, Rams and former owner of Colts

Class of 1971
Vince Lombardi – Wellington T. Mara, President, Giants
Y.A. Tittle – Wellington T. Mara, President, Giants
Norm Van Brocklin – Rankin M. Smith, Chairman of the Board, Falcons

Class of 1969
Leo Nomellini – Mrs. Victor Morabito, Co-Owner, 49ers
Joe Perry – Mrs. Tony Morabito, Co-Owner, 49ers
Ernie Stautner – Art Rooney, President, Steelers

Class of 1968
Cliff Battles – Edward Bennett Williams, President, Redskins

Class of 1967
Charles Bidwill, Sr. – Art Rooney, President, Steelers

Class of 1965
Otto Graham – Paul Brown, Browns Coach

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