Dec 25, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; A general view of a Las Vegas Raiders helmet against the Kansas City Chiefs prior to a game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Las Vegas Raiders and the football community are mourning the death of Jim Otto, who passed away at the age of 86 on Sunday.

Affectionately known as “Mr. Raider,” Otto was selected by the franchise coming out of Miami (Fla.) in the 1960 AFL Draft. In 15 seasons with the franchise, the Wausau, Wisconsin, native was named an All-Pro 12 times (first-team All-AFL nine times, first-team NFL All-Pro, second-team All-AFL and second-team NFL-All Pro once each) and is widely considered one of the greatest centers to have ever played professional football.

A member of the AFL All-Time Team and NFL 100th Anniversary All-Time Team, Otto was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 1980.

“Jim Otto personified the aura and mystique of the Raiders,” Hall of Fame president Jim Porter said in a statement. “He was ‘The Original Raider,’ leading a new franchise from its inception into its first run of glory years from the late 1960s into the 1970s. His legendary reliability – with 210 consecutive starts in the AFL and NFL – and the accolades he acquired serve as a testament to his dedication to the organization and the game.

“The Pro Football Hall of Fame will guard his legacy with the same diligence and tenacity that he guarded his teammates.”

According to the Raiders, Otto is survived by his wife Sally, his son Jim Jr. and wife Leah, and his 14 grandchildren — Alice, Sarah, Amy, Amanda, Josiah, Hannah, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Jennifer, Avery, Noah, Aiden, Roman and Ellie.


About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.