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Bronko Nagurski Jr. dies at 73

Bronko Nagurski Jr., son of legendary football star Bronko Nagurski and a noted football player in his own right, has died in International Falls at the age of 73.

The younger Nagurski died Monday, according to an obituary on the International Falls Journal website. His death also was reported by his former Canadian Football League team, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He had battled cancer in recent years.

Nagurski was born Christmas Day 1937; his father was a standout football player at the University of Minnesota who went on to a Hall-of-Fame NFL career with the Chicago Bears. Bronko Sr. spent his senior year at Bemidji High School but was not allowed to play football for the Lumberjacks because of a Minnesota State High School League ruling on transfers. He practiced with the Lumberjacks and received a scholarship to Minnesota.

The younger Nagurski graduated from International Falls High School and played college football at Notre Dame. He then played eight seasons as an offensive tackle for the Tiger-Cats, according to the team, earning All-Star honors three times and helping win two league titles.

"As a player, Bronko was one of the hardest workers in the league and a big part of our Grey Cup championship teams. He was always a pleasure to be around - a great teammate and an even better friend," former teammate Angelo Mosca said in a story on the Tiger-Cats website.

After his playing days ended, Nagurski had a 30-year career in the paper industry, according to his obituary. He also was a member of the International Falls Fire Department for 14 years.

Nagurski is survived by his wife, Bev, three daughters and five grandchildren.

Visitation is Friday from 5-7 p.m. at Green-Larsen Mortuary in International Falls. A funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Thomas Catholic Church in International Falls.