Laurence Simmons

Regional
6:44 am
Tue February 19, 2013

U of L's First African-American Football Player Dies in House Fire

A family member said the University of Louisville's first African-American football player, Laurence Simmons, was killed over the weekend in a house fire.

Maj. Henry Ott, of Louisville Fire & Rescue, said the 79-year-old Simmons was living in a basement bedroom when a fire started Saturday morning likely due to a frayed extension cord used to power a space heater. No one else was injured.

His brother, Norman Simmons, told The Courier-Journal that Laurence Simmons played offensive lineman for the University of Louisville in 1952 and was a standout football player at Central High School.

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