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Tony Canadeo

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Tony Canadeo (May 5, 1919 – November 29, 2003) was a professional football player, a halfback and quarterback for the NFL's Green Bay Packers from 1941-1944 and 1946-52, having missed the 1945 season while serving in the army during World War II.

Born and raised in Chicago, Canadeo played college football at Gonzaga University in Spokane, where he was first known as the "Gray Ghost of Gonzaga ," due to his prematurely graying hair. He was selected by the Packers in the ninth round (77th overall) of the 1941 NFL Draft. He joined the army in 1945, but returned in 1946 and became Green Bay's primary ball carrier. He was the first Packer to rush for 1000 yards in a season and the third player ever in the NFL to accomplish this feat. Canadeo rushed for 1052 yards in 1949, as the Packers struggled to a 2-10 record. In addition to his accomplishments as a running back, Canadeo played quarterback, also recorded nine career interceptions on defense and served as the team's punter.

Canadeo's number was retired by the Packers in 1952. Canadeo is one of only five Green Bay Packers to have his number retired by the team. His number (3) was retired immediately in 1952, preceded by Don Hutson (14) in 1951, and followed by Bart Starr (15) in 1973, Ray Nitschke (66) in 1983, Reggie White (92) in 2005, and Brett Favre (4) in 2015.

After his playing career, Canadeo continued his association with the team as a broadcaster and member of the organization's executive committee. He remained listed as one of the directors emeritus.

He played a small part in helping Jack Vainisi reassure Vince Lombardi in 1959 that the transition from NYC to Green Bay would be comfortable for his family.

Tony Canadeo, "The Gray Ghost of Gonzaga," was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1974. He died in Green Bay in 2003 at the age of 84.

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