Leo Lewis (running back)

Leo Everett Lewis Jr. (February 4, 1933 – August 30, 2013) was an American college football player (running back) for Lincoln University of Missouri in the 1950s (1951–54), who continued his success with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League (1955–1966).[1]

Leo Lewis
No. 29
Born:(1933-02-04)February 4, 1933
Des Moines, Iowa
Died:August 30, 2013(2013-08-30) (aged 80)
Columbia, Missouri
Career information
CFL statusInternational
Height5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight196 lb (89 kg)
NFL draft1955 / Round: 6 / Pick: 64
Drafted byBaltimore Colts
Career history
As player
19551966Winnipeg Blue Bombers
Career highlights and awards
CFL All-Star1962
CFL West All-Star1955, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1964
Pro Bowls1
Career stats


As a running back at Lincoln University Lewis was nicknamed "The Lincoln Locomotive".

Lewis still holds school records for touchdowns in a season (22), touchdowns in a career (64), rushing yards in a season (1,239) and career rushing yards (4,457).

Winnipeg Blue Bombers

After a stellar college career, Lewis signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League.

He was named All-Pro six times and eventually earned a spot in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

Lewis was a member of four Grey Cup winning Blue Bombers teams.

During his 11-year career in the CFL he rushed for 8,861 yards with a 6.6 yard average. He also was a remarkable kick-returner, averaging 29.1 yards on kickoff returns in his CFL career.

Bud Grant, legendary Blue Bombers' (and later head coach of the Minnesota Vikings), considered Leo Lewis the best player he had ever coached, whether in Canada or the United States. Lewis was voted one of the CFL's top 50 players (#29) in a poll conducted by Canadian sports network TSN.

His career rushing total of 8,861 yards stood as a Winnipeg Blue Bomber record for 41 years until it was passed by Charles Roberts in 2007. His career totals in return yardage, and yards per carry, still stand as Blue Bombers records.

Lewis was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1973.

He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in August 2005.

Also, in 2005, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the team the Blue Bombers named their 20 All-Time Blue Bombers Greats, of which Lewis was a member.

He was inducted into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in 2005.

Lewis was inducted into the Black College Football Hall of Fame in February 2018 Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Missouri.

He had three children, two of whom played professional gridiron football (one for the Minnesota Vikings – Leo Lewis III – and the other Marc Lewis for the USFL Denver Gold and Oakland Invaders and the CFL's Ottawa Rough Riders and the Calgary Stampeders.

Leo Lewis died on Friday August 30, 2013 at his home in Missouri. He had been battling illness for some time, his sons advised. He was 80 years old.[2]


  1. Aug 30, 2013 9:18 PM CT. "Former Blue Bombers running back Leo Lewis dies – Manitoba – CBC News". Cbc.ca. Retrieved 2013-08-31.
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-09-23. Retrieved 2013-09-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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