Leroy Bolden

1989 Greater Flint Afro-American Hall of Fame Inductee


Born: August 24, 1932

Leroy came to Flint at an early age and received his education in the Flint school system. He became interested in sports by playing on neighborhood street teams. In his early years Leroy would rather tackle and block than run the ball. By the time he entered Northern, his natural ability had surfaced.

In 1948-1950 he ran the 100 and 220 yard dash on Northern’s track team. The track team of 1949 and 1950 won the State Track Championship.

In football, in 1949, he was selected on the first team as halfback on the All-City, and All-Saginaw Valley All-Star teams. In 1950 Northern won the City, All-Valley and State football titles. Leroy was voted unanimous All-Valley and City halfback. He was also first team halfback on All-State team.

He was Valley scoring champion and set a city series record of 79 yards from the scrimmage line. In a Northern vs. Central game, Bolden was third all-time city series scoring champion, scoring 24 points. Bolden gained 1,031 yards, an average of 9 yards per rush in 1950. Eight of his 13 touchdowns were 50 yards or more. In 1950, at Northern, Bolden was one of three players from the same backfield to make All-State at the same time on the same team, a state high school record that still stands. Duckett and McDonald were the other two players.

In 1952, Bolden played on the M.S.U. team that won the N.C.A.A. National Football Championship. He was selected All- American and All-Big Ten halfback in 1953. Leroy was voted M.V.P. at Michigan State, receiving the Governors Award. He ranked number 3 at M.S.U. in points scored and touchdowns made. Bolden was co-captain on the 1954 team and Rose Bowl champions of the Big Ten.

After graduating he went into the armed services (1955-57). Leroy was drafted by the professional Cleveland Browns (number 6) and played the 1958-59 season. In 1960 he signed with the Dallas Texans. He became a charter member of the Dallas Cowboys of the N.F.L.

Leroy resides in California where he is a Communications Coordinator at Hewlett-Packard Co. at Palo Alto, California,

Bolden was inducted into the Greater Flint Hall of Fame in 1986.