Lyle Alzado Biography

(American Football Player)

Birthday: April 3, 1949 (Aries)

Born In: Brooklyn, New York, United States

Lyle Martin Alzado was an American professional footballer, recognized as one of the top defensive linesmen of the National Football League. Born to absentee father and overworked mother, he had a very troubled childhood, which made him highly aggressive, which in turn led to numerous brushes with the law. However, with the help of his school football coach, he was able to drive his aggressiveness towards the game and established himself as an effective defensive linesman. Continuing to play throughout his college years, he soon started taking steroids. At the age of 22, he was picked up by Denver Broncos, remaining with the club for the next seven years, thereafter being traded first to Cleveland Browns and then to Los Angeles Raiders, eventually retiring at the age of thirty-six. Concurrently, he also worked for the betterment of the youth, setting himself as an example. He died of brain cancer at the age of 43.
Quick Facts

Also Known As: Lyle Martin Alzado

Died At Age: 43


Spouse/Ex-: Kathy Alzado Murray (m. 1991), Cindy Alzado (m. 1984–1985), Kris Alzado (m. 1987–1989)

father: Maurice Alzado

mother: Martha Sokolow Alzado

siblings: Peter Alzado

Born Country: United States

Jewish Athletes American Football Players

Height: 6'3" (190 cm), 6'3" Males

Died on: May 14, 1992

place of death: Portland, Oregon, United States

Ancestry: Spanish American

Notable Alumni: Yankton College, Kilgore College

Cause of Death: Brain Cancer

City: Brooklyn, New York City

U.S. State: New Yorkers

More Facts

education: Yankton College, Kilgore College

Childhood & Early Life
Lyle Alzado was born on April 3, 1949 in New York City, USA. His father, Maurice Alzado, was of Italian-Spanish descent. His mother, Martha Sokolow Alzado, a devout lady of Russian-Jewish background, worked at a flower shop.
Born second oldest of his parents five children, he had two sisters and two brothers. His brothers have been identified as Peter and Billy.
Possibly in 1959, the entire family moved to Cedarhurst, Long Island. Here, he studied at Lawrence High School, playing football and dabbling in boxing. When he was in the sophomore year, his father abandoned the family, forcing him to start working in order to supplement his mother’s meager income.
At school, he was regularly humiliated for his threadbare clothing. It made him very aggressive and he used to beat up boys so that they would not dare to laugh at him. As a result, he periodically landed at the jail or suspended from school. At this juncture, he was saved by his football coach, Jack Martilotta.
Martilotta urged Lyle to use his energy on the field, rather than to waste it in fighting. Very soon, he began to be considered a star player. As an aggressive defensive linesman, he was thrice nominated for the Vardon Trophy. However, his grades continued to suffer.
After graduating from school, he tried to get into a reputed college with a sports scholarship; but because of his long police records and low grades no one was willing to take him. Finally, in 1965, he entered Kilgore College in Texas, where he played for two years.
In 1967, after he was told to leave Kilgore, he moved to Yankton College in South Dakota, where along with playing football he also started boxing, making to the semi final of Midwest Golden Gloves Boxing Tournament in 1969. Sometime now, to build muscle power, he also started taking steroids.
Yangton College was generally bypassed by football scouts. But luckily for Lyle, Stan Jones, the assistant coach of Denver Broncos, noticed him while watching a clip of the 1970 Copper Bowl game, held between Yangton and Montana Tech. Impressed, Stan Jone mentioned Lyle favorably in his report.
In January 1971, Broncos drafted Alzado in the fourth round. But at the end of his rookie season, he returned to Yangton in order to finish his education. In the same year, he earned his B.A. degree in physical education.
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In 1971, Lyle Alzado began his career with Denver, (replacing Pete Doranko when the latter suffered a torn knee ligament while playing in an exhibition match cannot find). Soon, he became a regular in the team, appearing in twelve matches at the right defensive end.
In 1972, he led Denver with 10½ sacks and 91 tackles, attracting national attention with his feat. Continuing to excel on the field, he helped his team to achieve its first winning season at 7–5–2 in the following year.
In 1974, he set up a record when he began a string of seven straight games, having at least one sack in each. Shortly, he was recognized as one of the top defensive ends of the National Football League (NFL).
In 1975, he was moved to defensive tackle, a position in which he performed 91 tackles and 7 sacks. But on the first match of the 1976 season, he blew out his knee, as a result of which he had to stay out of the field for the entire season.
He returned to the field in 1977 and helped his team to reach the Super Bowl XII, beating Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders in the course of it. Although they lost to Dallas Cowboys 27-10 in the final match, he made records y having two sacks.
In 1979, he had a contract dispute with the Broncos. Embittered, he switched temporarily to boxing, fighting eight rounds with heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali in an exhibition match in July. Later in the same year, the Broncos traded him to the Cleveland Browns.
Continuing to excel on the field, he led the Browns with nine sacks in 1980 and eight and half sacks in 1981. But that could not satisfy the management and thinking that he had lost his effectiveness traded him to Los Angeles Raiders for eighth round pick in April 1982.
Hurt by his low trade value, Alzado began to concentrate on his game. Soon he made a successful comeback and performing magnificently through 1982 and 1983, winning Super Bowl XVIII with his team in 1984.
In 1985, he retired from professional football and moved to acting, appearing in films, TV series, and sports commercials. Some of the films in which he appeared in star roles are 'Ernest Goes to Camp' (1987), 'Destroyer’ (1988), ‘Mike Hammer: Murder Takes All’ (1989) and ‘Club Fed’ (1990).
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In 1990, at the age of 41, he tried to return to football, but had to retire permanently after injuring his knee. In the following year, he was diagnosed with brain cancer.
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Awards & Achievements
In 1977, Alzado received Byron "Whizzer" White award for community service.
In 1977, he was named ‘AFC Defensive Player of the Year’ and ‘Defensive Lineman of the Year’ by the NLF Players’ Association.
In 1982, he was voted NFL Comeback Player of the Year.
Family & Personal Life
Lyle Alzado married his first wife, Sharon Sarvak, on May 11, 1975. The couple divorced on March 28, 1980.
On July 17, 1984, he married his second wife Cindy, having his only child, a son called Justin, with her. The couple divorced sometime in 1985.
On August 22, 1987, he married his third wife, Kris. They divorced sometime in 1989.
On March 9, 1991, he married his fourth wife, Kathy Alzado Murray, remaining married to her till his death in 1992.
Possibly in April 1991, a month after his fourth marriage, he was diagnosed with brain cancer. On May 14, 1992, he died at his home in Portland, Oregon, from complications arising out of it.
In 2008, he was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

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