Mel Farr: Former Detroit Lions RB dies at ‘age 70’

Mel Farr : Former Detroit Lions RB dies at age 70

Mel Farr, NFL superstar and local businessman has died at his home at the age of 70.

The fast paced running back won the co-rookie of the year award in 1967 with teammate Lem Barney. He played seven seasons for Detroit before retiring due to nagging injuries.

“He was a fun guy, sincere guy, a loving guy,” Barney said. “He was a guy that everybody would want on his team. You would want Mel on your team. Good instincts, great heart. Very generous and a serious guy. He’s going to sorely be missed.”

Farr worked for Ford Motor Co. in the off-season during his football career.

“I worked for Ford Motor Co. for seven years in the off-season. I worked in an area called dealer development,” Farr said in an interview with the Detroit Free Press a few years ago. “You see, in 1967 when I came here, Detroit was literally on fire because of the riots and so Henry Ford II said, ‘You know, we’re going to make Ford dealerships available to African-Americans,’ because before 1967 there were no African-American Ford dealers.

This prompted Farr to open 11 dealerships with his automotive group at the height of his success post retirement. Farr was known as the “superstar” businessman amongst local car buyers. Locally, commercials featured Farr with a cape and action hero worthy scripts to go along with his catchy car sale deals.

Farr’s cause of death is still unknown, but an autopsy is underway. He is survived by his wife, Jasmine and children: daughters Monet and Milan and sons Mel Jr., and Mike.