Willie Campbell, Earl

Diabetic Willie Campbell, left, pictured with his brother Earl Campbell, talks about the importance of proper care of diabetes at the health for Life Texas Everyone with diabetes Counts program at Tyler Metropolitian Chamber of Commerce building Friday afternoon.

Willie Campbell, the oldest brother in the famous football playing Campbell family, passed away on Friday, family members said.

Campbell, whose younger brother Earl Campbell was the 1977 Heisman Trophy winner, was a standout football player himself as well as a deeply religious man.

The 1965 Tyler Emmett Scott High School graduate was inducted into the Tyler ISD Athletic Hall of Fame in 2015.

The elder Campbell played defensive end and inside linebacker for the Bulldogs. He was the captain of the football team as well as all-district and all-state in the Prairie View Athletic League.

Campbell was a spokesman for Austin-based TMF Health Quality Institute’s diabetes education initiative, along with his brother, Earl. He also spoke at classes at the Northeast Texas Health District’s Center for Healthy Living where he told people about healthy choices, letting others know about their condition and keeping a diabetic bracelet or necklace.

After graduating from Emmett Scott HS, Willie Campbell served in the Air Force.

Younger brother Earl always stated Willie was the best athlete in the Campbell family.

Willie Campbell credited his mother, Ann, for the guiding the Campbell family after the passing of their father, B.C. Campbell.

“She always expected us to be in church on Sunday,” Willie Campbell said. “All of our lives the one thing that we had to learn is that our blessings are from Jesus Christ.”

Services are pending.


Sports Editor

I am a native Tylerite and I grew up reading the Tyler Morning Telegraph and The Tyler Courier-Times. My parents took both the morning and afternoon papers. I came to work here 35 years ago at the age of 23, right after college.

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