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Thursday, January 6, 2005
"Texas Bob" Smith won NFL title in '53

Associated Press

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Robert "Texas Bob'' Smith, a running back who helped the Detroit Lions win the 1953 NFL championship, died following a brief illness. He was 74.

Smith died Wednesday in Dallas, the Lions said.

Smith, a fullback who played in the Detroit backfield with Hall of Famer Doak Walker, was a lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War before joining the Lions in 1953. He had been a fourth-round draft choice of the Cleveland Browns in 1951 before entering military service.

The former Texas A&M star was the first player in the Southwest Conference to run for 1,000 yards in a season.

Smith is survived by his wife of 53 years, Betty Lu, and two sons.

A memorial service will be held Friday morning at Skillman Church of Christ in Dallas. A graveside service will be held Saturday at Houston's Forest Park Cemetery.