>Happy Birthday, Don Norton – An Original Charger!

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This week marks what would have been Don Norton’s 73rdbirthday.  Sadly, Norton passed away in 1997, of complications from open-heart surgery.

Don Norton was an original Charger, a member of the 1960 team that began in Los Angeles.  A two-time Rose Bowl champion and all-america end out of the University of Iowa, Norton was drafted in the first round of the 1960 AFL draft by the Oakland Raiders, but soon traded to the Chargers for defensive lineman, Charlie Powell.  Norton was a workhorse, missing only seven games in his seven-season career with the Chargers.  In 91 career games, Don Norton had 228 receptions for 3,486 yards (15.3 avg.) and scored 27 touchdowns.  He was an AFL All-Star in 1962 and 1963.  He played in five AFL championship games with the Chargers (1960, ’61, ’63, ’64 & ’65), and was an integral member of the 1963 AFL Champion Chargers team, despite playing the season with a back injury that he suffered while lifting weights in training camp that season.
The following is a collection of photographs and memorabilia from Don Norton’s time in the American Football League.
Autographed 1961 Fleer Card
Autographed 1962 Fleer Card
Autographed 1964 Topps Card
Autographed 1965 Topps Card
Autographed 1966 Topps Card
1962 Union Oil Card
1960s Chargers White Border Card
November 27, 1960 vs. Oakland Raiders
November 27, 1960 vs. Oakland Raiders
December 4, 1960 vs. Oakland Raiders
December 4, 1960 vs. Oakland Raiders
December 4, 1960 vs. Oakland Raiders
1961 Team Issued Photo
November 19, 1961 vs. Dallas Texans
December 17, 1961 vs. Boston Patriots
Chargers in the 1962 AFL All-Star Game
July 1, 1962 Pool Party at Sid Gillman’s House
August 11, 1962 vs. Dallas Texans
September 16, 1962 vs. New York Titans
September 30, 1962 vs. Oakland Raiders
October 7, 1962 vs. Dallas Texans
November 4, 1962 vs. Denver Broncos
December 9, 1962 vs. Boston Patriots
Chargers in the 1963 AFL All-Star Game
1963 Training Camp
October 20, 1963 vs. Kansas City
September 14, 1964 vs. Oakland Raiders
September 12, 1964 vs. Houston Oilers
October 18, 1964 vs. Denver Broncos
November 1, 1964 vs. Oakland Raiders
December 6, 1964 vs. New York Jets
Original Chargers at 1965 Training Camp
September 19, 1965 postgame interview with George Ratterman
December 26, 1965 vs. Buffalo Bills
Todd Tobias (789 Posts)

Todd Tobias's interest in the American Football League began in 1998, when he wrote my master's thesis about Sid Gillman. He created this site to educate and entertain football fans with the stories of the American Football League, 1960-1969. You can follow Todd and get more AFL history on Twitter @TalesfromtheAFL.

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4 Responses to >Happy Birthday, Don Norton – An Original Charger!

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  2. billd says:

    Enjoyed the site and pictures. A couple of corrections. The picture of Don against the Patriots in December 1961 was actually a week later. The Chargers played the Bills on December 10, 1961 ( I was there).
    Also, that sure looks like George Ratterman interviewing Don in 1965. Thanks again.

  3. Todd Tobias says:

    Thanks, Bill. Corrections made!

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