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Charlie Hennigan

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Charlie Hennigan

Charlie Hennigan
No. 37, 87
Position: Wide receiver
Personal information
Date of birth: (1935-03-19) March 19, 1935
Place of birth: Bienville, Louisiana
Height: 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight: 187 lb (85 kg)
Career information
College: Northwestern State
Career history
Career highlights and awards
  • TSN All-AFL (1961, 1962, 1963, 1964)
  • AFL All-Star (1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965)
  • 2× American Football League champion (1960, 1961)
  • First player with more than 100 rcpts/season (101, 1964)
  • Held season receiving yardage title (1,746 yards)
Career NFL statistics
Stats at
Stats at

Charles Taylor Hennigan, Sr., known as Charlie Hennigan (born March 19, 1935), is a retired American football player with the former Houston Oilers who resides in Shreveport, Louisiana.


  • Background 1
  • Football career 2
  • Later years 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Born in Bienville in Bienville Parish in north Louisiana, Hennigan was reared in nearby Minden, the parish seat of Webster Parish, located thirty miles east of Shreveport. His father, Clarence Roland Hennigan (1905–1992),[1] was still a sheriff's deputy when he died at the age of eighty-seven, having served under Webster Parish Sheriffs J. D. Batton, O. H. Haynes, Jr., and Royce McMahen. He was the oldest serving sheriff's deputy in the state. Deputy Hennigan said that the crime rate at the time was a fraction of what it became in later decades. Hennigan referred to Batton and the two successor sheriffs as "all quite capable of the job. They were all decent, honorable, honest people, and I'm proud to have been able to have worked with them."[2]

His mother, Lura E. Hennigan (1916–1997),[1] though originally Baptist became a Pentecostal minister, piano teacher, and artist. She wrote a regular column entitled "The Abundant Life" for the Minden Press-Herald.[3]

Hennigan graduated in 1953 from Minden High School, where he excelled in football, basketball, and track as well as academics.

Minden, a small city, produced other successful athletes too, including David Allen Lee, the punter for the Baltimore Colts from 1966–1978, and Fred Haynes, the holder of many football records as the quarterback at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge during the late 1960s and the second of four sons of Sheriff O. H. Haynes, Jr.

Football career

Hennigan attended LSU on a track scholarship but wanted to play football. He therefore transferred to Northwestern State University (then Northwestern State College) in Natchitoches, Louisiana, where he became the star of the team. In 1960, he joined the American Football League's Houston Oilers in the team's first year of operation. Prior to joining the Oilers, he had taught high school biology at a salary of some $2,700 per year. He kept his teacher pay stub in his helmet to remind him that he must succeed in pro athletics.

Hennigan scored the first touchdown in Oilers history. After a promising rookie season, in 1961 he started all 14 games and established himself as a superstar in the AFL by gaining 1,746 yards receiving, a pro-football record that stood for 34 years. One of quarterback Boston Patriots on October 13, 1961.

Hennigan was selected by his peers as a Sporting News AFL All-League offensive end in 1961, 1962, and 1964. He was an American Football League Eastern Division All-Star five straight years (1961 - 1965), and retired after the 1966 season. He was selected to the All-Time All-AFL Second Team.

Hall of Famer Broncos picked him up. The next year we played Denver, and Charley needed nine catches to break Lionel Taylor's record of one hundred receptions in a season. Charlie got the nine he needed, with Willie covering him. Willie's in the Hall of Fame. Charlie Hennigan should be, too."

On January 19, 1962, Minden observed "Charlie Hennigan" Day. Then State Senator Harold Montgomery, State Representative, Parey Branton, Mayor Frank T. Norman, and other local officials presented Hennigan with a signed document of his accomplishments. A luncheon and evening meal were served in his honor.[4] The event was postponed because of hazardous weather the previous week.[5]

Later years

In 1967, Hennigan received his doctorate in education from the University of Houston.[6] Hennigan operates an educational tutoring service in Shreveport and works with prisoners seeking the General Equivalency Diploma (GED). Hennigan has seven children, the oldest being Charles, Jr., who was born in Natchitoches in 1957.

On April 6, 2002, Hennigan, then a Democrat but a registered Independent as of 2014,[7] ran in a special election for Place 8 on the Caddo Parish Commission, his parish's governing body. He was defeated by Republican Michael Long, 2,139 votes (74.9 percent) to 716 ballots (25.1 percent).

See also


  1. ^ a b "Clarence Roland Hennigan". Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  2. ^ Teri Herren (February 5, 1986). "Deputy C. R. Hennigan: 80-years young and still upholding the law".  
  3. ^ "Lura Hennigan: Sacrifice of Thanksgiving", Minden Press-Herald, November 16, 1984, p. 5
  4. ^ "Hero's Welcome Given Local Pro Grid Athlete", Minden Press, January 22, 1962, p. 1
  5. ^ "Second Attempt Set for Charlie Hennigan Day", Minden Herald, January 18, 1962, p. 1
  6. ^ "Charles Henningan to Get Doctor's Degree", Minden Press-Herald, June 2, 1967
  7. ^ "Charles Hennigan, March 1935".  

External links

  • Campaign to get Hennigan inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame
  • Hennigan's first AFL contract
Preceded by
Elroy Hirsch
NFL single-season receiving record
Succeeded by
Jerry Rice
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