American football playerDied when: 78 years 184 days (942 months)
Star Sign: Aries
James Richard "Jungle Jim" Martin (April 8, 1924 – October 9, 2002) was an American football guard, linebacker and placekicker who played fourteen seasons in the National Football League (NFL) in the 1950s and 1960s, mainly for the Detroit Lions.
He was selected to the Pro Bowl, the NFL's all-star game, after the 1961 season, and went on to be an assistant coach after his playing career.
He was an All-American at the University of Notre Dame and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1995.
Martin was a star athlete at his high school in Cleveland, Ohio.He joined the United States Marine Corps after graduating, and served in the Pacific War until it ended in 1945.
He then enrolled at Notre Dame, where he was part of a teams that won the college football national championship in 1946, 1947 and 1949 under head coach Frank Leahy.
Martin was named a first-team All-American in 1949 by several news organizations.The NFL's Cleveland Browns selected Martin in the 1950 draft, and he played there for one season during which the team won the NFL championship.
Browns head coach Paul Brown traded him to the Detroit Lions, where he played between 1951 and 1961, at first as a guard and later as a linebacker and placekicker.
The Lions won NFL championships in 1952, 1953 and 1957, all three of them victories over the Browns.After spending a year as an assistant coach for the Denver Broncos, an American Football League team, Martin returned to playing in 1963 for the Baltimore Colts, and played for a final year in 1964 for the Washington Redskins.
When he left the Lions, Martin was the team's all-time leading field goal kicker; he also became the first NFL player to kick two field goals of more than 50 yards in a single game in 1960.
Martin was an assistant high school coach in California and at Idaho State University before taking a job as an assistant with the Lions between 1967 and 1972.
He also coached in the World Football League in the mid-1970s.Martin later worked as a court officer in Michigan.
He was inducted into the Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame in 1976 and into the college hall of fame in 1995.
He died in 2002.