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Bengals Deeply Mourn John Stofa’s Sudden Death at 79


It is reported that John Stofa professional American football quarterback sadly passed away at age 79 on April 24, 2022, but John Stofa‘s cause of death has not been announced at this time.

John Stofa whose full name was John Carl Stofa was born on June 29, 1942, in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Stofa attended the University at Buffalo where he was the Bull’s starting quarterback in 1962 and 1963.

In 1966, he began his pro football career in the American Football League for Miami Dolphins. John played his first 2 seasons with the Dolphins and played a total of eight games.

The talented player completed 31 passes in 59 attempts for 476 yards and 4 touchdowns with the Dolphins. Prior to the 1968 season, he was traded to the AFL expansion team Cincinnati Bengals.

Stofa was the first Bengal in franchise history and signed with the team in December 1967. The American player has used the license plate “1ST BNGL.

Asked if he felt pressure as the 1st player for an expansion team, John recalled: “Just the opposite. It was a real deep feeling of a belief in yourself and you know you can do it if you wanted to do it. We talked not only football but personal, too.”

He continued: “He was a good guy … People don’t understand. They’d see that tough-looking image out there and (say) this guy doesn’t care about anything. It’s not true. He does care about the players and how they were doing personally.”

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John Stofa‘s Cause of Death Remains Untold

There is not any detail related to Dolphins’ original quarterback John Stofa‘s cause of death. His family also has not shared a statement to reveal the death cause.

He played one season with the Bengals, sharing time with fellow Bengals quarterbacks Sam Wyche and Dewey Warren. The Bengals drafted quarterback Greg Cook to become their starter.

John was waived during training camp and then signed to the Bengals taxi squad. Stofa was claimed off waivers by the Dolphins. Stofa returned to the Dolphins for the 1969 and 1970 seasons and played behind Rick Norton and Bob Gries.

John Stofa's Cause of Death has not been Revealed
Image Source: CBS Sports

In 1974, he returned to pro football and signed with the World Football League‘s Jacksonville Sharks. John was inducted into the University of Buffalo Athletic Hall of Fame in 1973.

He is retired after many years with Medical Mutual of Ohio and resides in Mason, Ohio. John was also a former board member of the University of Buffalo Blue and White Club.

“He was more than that to a lot of us. Just a really good guy we’ve known for a long time. He had a lot of values we cherish. We admired the way he lived his life,” Bengals president Mike Brown, said in a statement.

Sportswriter Hal Habib tweeted: “John Stofa, one of the first QBs in Dolphins history, has died at age 79. Stofa passed for 307 yards and four TDs in a rare win in 1966 and enjoyed a cameo on the silver screen in “Paper Lion” with Alan Alda.”

Matt Steinmann wrote on Twitter: “He was the first Bengals player, coming over in a trade from the Miami Dolphins in 1968. He threw the first TD pass in franchise history, a 58-yard strike to TE Bob Trumpy in their second game and first victory. ‘The Original Bengal,’ John Stofa has passed away at age 79.”

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