Marlin Briscoe, Pro Football's First Black Starting QB, Dies At 76

Marlin Briscoe, a Black quarterback pioneer and member of the Miami Dolphins' undefeated 1972 team
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Photos: University Nebraska Omaha\Twitter

Marlin Briscoe, a Black quarterback pioneer and member of the Miami Dolphins' undefeated 1972 team, died of pneumonia on Monday at the age of 76.

Briscoe's daughter, Angela Marriott, informed the Associated Press of his death.

Nicknamed "The Magician," Briscoe was the first American professional football starting Black quarterback after being selected by the American Football League's Denver Broncos in 1968. He started five games that season while finishing as the runner-up for AFL Rookie of the Year. Briscoe's best performance came against the Bills, as he threw for 335 yards and four touchdowns in his second start.

"We are heartbroken to learn the passing of former Broncos QB Marlin Briscoe," the Broncos said in a statement. "Marlin was a pioneer who shattered barriers, making history as the first Black starting quarterback in the Super Bowl era. He paved the way for countless others and created an indelible legacy, including through our Marlin Briscoe Diversity Coaching Fellowship. Our deepest sympathies go out to Marlin's family, friends and former teammates." Read more.

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