Green Bay Packers HOF QB Bart Starr dead at 85

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala./ GREEN BAY, Wis. (WMTV/ESPN/AP) Bart Starr, the Green Bay Packers quarterback and catalyst of Vince Lombardi's powerhouse teams of the 1960s, has died. He was 85.

The Packers announced Sunday that Starr had died, citing his family. He had been in failing health since suffering a serious stroke in 2014.

The Packers chose Starr out of the University of Alabama with the 200th pick in the 1956 draft, and after Lombardi's arrival in 1959, Starr led Green Bay to six division titles, five NFL championships and wins in the first two Super Bowls.

But it was in the "Ice Bowl" on New Year's Eve 1967 that Starr secured his legacy, scoring on a sneak with 16 seconds left to give Green Bay a 21-17 win over the Dallas Cowboys.

Starr was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1977.

Bart Starr, a Hall of Fame quarterback who helped build the Green Bay Packers dynasty in the 1960s and was named the Most Valuable Player of the first two Super Bowls, died Sunday in Birmingham, Ala. He was 85.

Starr won an unprecedented five NFL championships as the Packers starting quarterback, leading the club to titles in 1961, 1962, 1965, 1966 and 1967. No other starting quarterback has won more than four championships.

Starr battled a series of health setbacks recently. In September 2014, he suffered two strokes, a heart attack and several seizures. His condition improved after undergoing experimental stem cell treatments. He then overcame a life-threatening bronchial infection in August 2015 and broke his hip in December.

He made one of his final public appearances on Nov. 25 of last year, attending the jersey retirement ceremony for quarterback Brett Favre at Lambeau Field.

"We are saddened to note the passing of our husband, father, grandfather, and friend, Bart Starr," read a statement from Starr's family. "He battled with courage and determination to transcend the serious stroke he suffered in September 2014, but his most recent illness was too much to overcome.

"While he may always be best known for his success as the Packers quarterback for 16 years, his true legacy will always be the respectful manner in which he treated every person he met, his humble demeanor, and his generous spirit."

After losing to the Eagles in the 1960 NFL Championship Game, the Packers never lost another postseason contest with Starr at the helm.