WASHINGTON — Len Hauss, a five-time Pro Bowl center for Washington who started every game over the last 13 seasons of his 14-year NFL career, has died. He was 79.
His daughter, Lana Hauss Snyder, said in a telephone interview Thursday that Hauss died Wednesday at Wayne Memorial Hospital in Jesup, Georgia, after an extended illness.
Washington was the only professional football team Hauss played for during a durable career that spanned from 1964 to 1977 and included 196 total regular-season games, with 194 starts. He also appeared in another seven postseason games, all starts.
Leonard “Len” Hauss was born in Jesup on July 11, 1942.
After starring in football in high school, he went to the University of Georgia to play on the offensive line.
Washington drafted the 6-foot-2, 235-pound Hauss in the ninth round of the 1964 NFL draft.
He was selected to the Pro Bowl as one of the NFL’s top players in 1966, 1968-70 and 1972 and was the center for Washington’s team that reached the Super Bowl at the end of the 1972 season before losing to the Miami Dolphins 14-7.
The club would honor Hauss by inducting him into its Ring of Fame, a group of top people in franchise history whose names are listed on the upper-deck facade at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland.
After Hauss retired from football, he worked in the banking industry.
“He loved the game – even after he stopped playing. He loved to watch good football. And he loved to watch honorable men play,” said Snyder, his daughter. “He was a football lover and a fisherman. He loved to fish.”
According to Snyder, other survivors include: Hauss’ wife of 59 years, Janis Hauss; a sister, Lenell Burch; and two granddaughters.
“As my mother likes to say: They were young, small-town children who lived a fairytale life,” Snyder said.
A visitation and funeral service are scheduled for Monday at First Baptist Church in Jesup.