Jim Otto, Oakland Raiders Football Center and NFL Hall of Famer, Dead at 86

Otto played for the Oakland Raiders for 15 seasons, from 1960 to 1974

<p>Rich Graessle/PPI/Icon Sportswire via Getty </p> Jim Otto at the NFL Honors on Feb. 1, 2020

Rich Graessle/PPI/Icon Sportswire via Getty

Jim Otto at the NFL Honors on Feb. 1, 2020

Jim Otto, the Hall of Fame football center best known for playing for the Oakland Raiders, has died. He was 86.

The news of his death was confirmed on Sunday, May 19 by the Las Vegas Raiders — the NFL organization previously known as the Oakland Raiders — which noted that the longtime player "was known to many as 'Mr. Raider.' "

“The Raiders Family is in deep mourning following the passing of Jim Otto...The Original Raider,” the franchise wrote in a statement. “The personification of consistency, Jim's influence on the American Football League and professional football as a whole cannot be overstated.”

His cause of death has not been revealed.

<p>Chris Kjobeck/MediaNews Group/Oakland Tribune via Getty</p> Jim Otto in 1962

Chris Kjobeck/MediaNews Group/Oakland Tribune via Getty

Jim Otto in 1962

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According to ABC News, Otto played for the Oakland Raiders for 15 seasons, from 1960 to his retirement from the NFL after the 1974 season. During that time, he played in 210 consecutive regular season games and 223 games including playoffs.

He was also an AFL All-Star/Pro Bowl 12 times and had 10 All-Pro selections before entering the Hall of Fame in 1980.

Per the Las Vegas Raiders, "His leadership and tenacity were a hallmark of the dominant Raider teams of the 1960s and 70s, and his ferocious work ethic and talent enabled him to start a remarkable 210 consecutive league games for the Oakland Raiders."

"Considered undersized when coming out of the University of Miami, Jim handled the first snap in franchise history and went on to be selected as the AFL's All-Star center for the entirety of the league's existence. One of only 20 players to play in every season of the American Football League, he was named the starting center on the AFL All-Time Team and was selected to the NFL's 100th Anniversary Team in 2019," the team added.

<p>Bettmann Archive/Getty</p> Jim Otto of the Oakland Raiders in 1970

Bettmann Archive/Getty

Jim Otto of the Oakland Raiders in 1970

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During his celebrated career, ABC News reported that Otto underwent over 70 surgeries and suffered more than 20 concussions. Additionally, "in 2007 he had to have his right leg amputated above the knee following two life-threatening infections. He also had prostate cancer."

"I know that I went to war and I came out of the battle with what I got, and that's the way it is," Otto said of his injuries during a 2017 special on PBS' Frontline, the outlet noted.

In a 2009 interview with Bleacher Report, Otto said, "There's something inside of you that says, 'I want to go out there and prove my worth.' Most of the time you're going to get injuries. That's the life you choose. Some people need a challenge in life and they play hockey or rugby. Football was the way I could prove myself."

<p>Michael Zagaris/Getty </p> Jim Otto in 1974

Michael Zagaris/Getty

Jim Otto in 1974

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"Beyond the gridiron, Jim was a successful businessman and remained an important part of the Raiders organization, serving as a team executive and providing a perpetual presence at games and events," the Las Vegas Raiders wrote, noting that "Jim was a man whose words and actions epitomized the motto 'Commitment to Excellence.' "

“Rip Jim Otto. Absolute Legend & Incredible Person,” Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter).

According to the team, Otto is survived by his “wife Sally, his son Jim Jr. and wife Leah, and 14 grandchildren."

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