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Celebrity Death

Leroy Keyes’ Cause of Death Revealed as a Serious Illness


Unfortunately, football running back Leroy Keyes’ cause of death is announced as a longtime serious illness. Purdue icon and two-time consensus All-American Marvin “Leroy” Keyes passed away at 74.

Keyes was dealing with cancer and died this morning on April 15 after a heart failure in hospice care at an Indianapolis hospital.

Purdue President Mitch Daniels said that the College Football Hall of Fame member was a two-way player in the way that matters most, a great athlete and a great person.

Football running back Leroy Keyes passed away after serious health issues at the age of 74.

He earned his “The Golden Mr. Do-Everything” nickname as a Boilermaker legend.

Daniels added that “You never saw him without a smile on his face, or left him without a smile on your own. Every Boilermaker lost a good friend today.”

Leroy Keyes will remain as the only two-time consensus All-American in school history. He was a megastar for the Boilermakers from 1966 to 1968, finished third and second in balloting for the Heisman Trophy halfback his junior and senior seasons.

Leroy Keyes died of an illness at the age of 74

Leroy Keyes’ Career Highlight

In 1990, Leroy was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame and, in 1994, was an inaugural member in Purdue Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame.

Keyes scored 19 touchdowns as a junior, 13 rushing, and six receiving set the Purdue season record and led the nation with a school-record 114 points en route to being honored Big Ten Conference Most Valuable Player.

The legend became the first Boilermaker to rush for 1,000 yards in a season the following year and was selected to the 1968 East-West Shrine Game.

“The Golden Mr. Do-Everything” career statistics were regarded including:

  • 2,094 rushing yards
  • 80 receptions
  • Eight touchdown passes among 12 completions
  • Four interceptions as a defensive halfback
  • A 25.8-yard kickoff return average
  • Handling kickoff duties

Leroy finished his career with 2,094 rushing yards, 37 total touchdowns, which are third in school history, eight touchdown passes, while also playing defensive back and picking off four interceptions during his time in West Lafayette.

Leroy Keyes passed away after an illness
Image source: Hammer and Rails

He remains the Purdue record-holder for rushing average in a season and career in addition to the season touchdown record.

Leroy Keyes ranks third all-time in total touchdowns, fifth in rushing touchdowns, sixth in points, ninth in all-purpose yards, 11th in rushing yards, and 19th in rushing attempts.

In 2007, his 1,870 all-purpose yards as a junior were the school standard for 40 years until Dorien Bryant topped it. Leroy still owns the most extended fumble return by a Boilermaker with a 95-yarder at Notre Dame on September 24, 1966.

The Philadelphia Eagles selected him with the third overall pick of the 1969 National Football League Draft.

From 1969 to 1972, he played for the Eagles and in 1973 played for the Kansas City Chiefs as a running back, and safety before injuries curtailed his career.

Reactions to Leroy Keyes’ Death

Marvin Leroy Keyes’ cause of death is reported as recurrence of cancer and congestive heart failure after a long time dealing with illness.

Following the tragic news, several fans and supporters reacted and paid tribute and stated their condolences on social media websites.

Mike Bobinski, the director of intercollegiate athletics, said: “Leroy was a true Boilermaker icon. He will be missed not only as a legendary player but even more so for the positive impact he had on so many over the course of his life.”

One user tweeted that, “RIP to a hero of my childhood, Leroy Keyes.” Another user wrote: “I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Leroy Keyes multiple times, and he always had great advice and story or two for me!”

An online user wrote: “RIP Leroy Keyes, who ranks as Purdue’s greatest football player because of his versatility. He seemed a great addition to the athletic department, too.”

For tributes and prayers, please kindly scroll down and use the comment box to share your feelings about the heartbreaking news.

You can read about costume designer Robert Fletcher’s cause of death and other celebrities’ life and career till death in the celebrity death section.

Keyes leaves behind his wife, Monica, and children, Raymond, Jacqueline, Courtland, and Colin. His family needs privacy; please respect them during this difficult time.

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