Governor Dayton proclaims Bruce Smith Day in Minnesota
September 16, 2011
Governor Mark Dayton has proclaimed tomorrow, Saturday, September 17, 2011, as Bruce Smith Day, honoring the life and career of Bruce Smith.
Smith was born in Faribault, Minnesota, where he discovered his love for football and excelled as a high school athlete. He attended the University of Minnesota and played halfback for the back-to-back national champion Golden Gophers in 1940 and 1941, earning the prestigious Heisman Trophy in 1941. Two days after Smith received his Heisman Trophy, Pearl Harbor was attacked and Smith served as a Navy Fighter Pilot during World War II. He later returned to the United States and entered the NFL.
In the spring of 1967, Smith was diagnosed with cancer, and spent the next several months visiting young cancer patients before passing away on August 28, 1967.
Smith was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1972, and in 1977, his number, 54, was the first to ever be officially retired by the University of Minnesota Gophers. Tomorrow, the University of Minnesota will celebrate the 70th Anniversary of Smith receiving the Heisman Trophy and will honor him at their home game versus the Miami University (Ohio) RedHawks.