Johnny Unitas

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John Constantine Unitas (pronounced /juːˈnaɪtɨs/; May 7, 1933 – September 11, 2002), known as Johnny Unitas or "Johnny U", and nicknamed "The Golden Arm", was a professional American football player in the 1950s through the 1970s, spending the majority of his career with the Baltimore Colts. He was a record-setting quarterback, and the National Football League's most valuable player in 1959, 1964 and 1967. His record of throwing a touchdown pass in 47 consecutive games (between 1956-1960) remains unsurpassed as of 2010. He has been consistently listed as one of the greatest NFL players of all time.[1]


Early life

John Constantine Unitas was born to Lithuanian immigrant parents in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1933, and grew up in the Brookline neighborhood.[2] His father died when Johnny was four years old, and he was raised by his mother, who worked two jobs to support the family.[3] His unusual surname was a result of a phonetic transliteration of a common Lithuanian last name Jonaitis. Attending St Justin's High School in Pittsburgh, Unitas played halfback and quarterback. After high school, Unitas looked for an opportunity to play college football. He was passed over by Notre Dame and Indiana.

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