Robert Jerry “Gentle Ben” Williams dies in Jackson Gentle Ben Williams dies
Ben Williams is shown at left in this photo taken last year with Ken Johnson, and Ervin “Blueprint” Parker.
May 18th, 2020     People


Jackson MS:  The first African-American to play football at Ole Miss died today in Jackson.

Robert Jerry “Gentle Ben” Williams was the first black football player at the University of Mississippi, in 1971.

He still holds the Ole Miss record with 37 sacks, 18 in single season. He was the first Ole Miss African-American player to receive first selection All-American honors.

He played for the Buffalo Bills in the NFL for ten years. Rebel “Gentle Ben” Williams died in a Jackson hospital of natural causes at age 65.

Details in this Associated Press article published this afternoon:

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