Don Paul, ALL-PRO LINEBACKER
with L.A. Rams, dies at 89.
Don Paul, a standout linebacker who was part of the Los Angeles Rams 1951 NFL Championship team, has died. After an extended illness, Don died of respiratory failure on November 8, 2014, at the age of 89 in Woodland Hills, California.
Don was born on March 18, 1925 in Fresno, California. He played collegiate football at UCLA and has the distinction of being the only player elected captain of the UCLA varsity as a freshman. Don served in the Navy during World War 2, where he was one of only two players to play in six UCLA-USC games. After the war he returned to UCLA and was named to the All Coast team and competed in the Rose Bowl. Don was drafted by the L.A. Rams in the 3rd round, (21 overall), of the 1947 NFL Draft. He played for the Ram's for 8 seasons (1948-1955). As a top linebacker, he played on five Division Championship Ram teams from 1949-1952 and in 1955. He played in three Pro Bowls, 1951-1953 and in 1951 Don was the leader of the Ram defense that defeated the Cleveland Browns for the world championship. During his tenure with the Rams, he was the defensive signal caller for seven years and was team captain for four seasons. He was voted All-Pro Linebacker in 1952.
After retiring as a player, Paul coached the College All Stars defense in 1957 against the Giants and in 1958 in a win against the Lions. He was defensive coach for the Rams for three years, 1959-1961. Don was honored by the Helms Hall of Fame as a linebacker. The late Dan Reeves, owner of the Rams, named Paul to his All-Time Ram Team as a linebacker. In 1961, Don teamed with sportscaster Gil Stratton for telecasts of Ram games on the CBS network for several years. Don was inducted into the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame in 1986. He was named "All Time Bruin Center" and was a member of the All-Time Bruin Team.
Don was also a successful businessman. He owned several restaurants, including "The Ram's Horn," and "Seven Kitchens" in Topanga Plaza. The Ram's Horn, a Ventura Blvd. restaurant in Encino, California, was a popular Ram's hangout in the 1950's and 1960's.
Don was preceded in death by his wife, Charlotte and his sisters, Lavon Reaber and Jeanette Rakoobian. Don is survived by his children, Randi, Rex, Carol and Matt, 8 Grandchildren and 2 Great Grandchildren.
At the request of Don there will be no funeral service, and his family requests that any donations be made to the Alzheimer's Association.