Cotton lives in Central Texas and much like myself was affected by ‘The Texas Freeze’. He wrote me a nice note saying that normally he doesn’t respond to letters and just signs the cards, but that he too wished myself and my family well after what had happened to us.
Played one year at Notre Dame before enlisting for World War II, joining the US Marines and saw intense and fierce combat on the Pacific front.
Returned and finished out his college time at Boston College.
Selected in the 1947 NFL Draft by the New York Giants, but didn’t play pro football until 1950 with the original Baltimore Colts.
After the Colts went out of business in 1950, experienced the blues of the sport with both the Yanks (1951) and the Texans (1952), also closing up shop after one season each.
It’d be in 1953 that Art joined the second iteration of the Baltimore Colts.
He’d go on to become one of the greatest defensive linemen of that era playing in 138 games, through 1961.
With a personality larger than life, Donovan made frequent appearances on late night television with Johnny Carson and David Letterman spinning tales of old.
He also did radio and owned a country club.
Pro Football Hall of Fame (1968)
Pro Bowl (1953-57)
First Team All-Pro (1954-57)
Second Team All-Pro (1958, 1960)
Baltimore Ravens Ring of Honor
Indianapolis Colts #70 Retired
NFL 1950s All-Decade Team
I remember vividly seeing Art on David Letterman during the 80s when I was a kid. I wasn’t interested in football and I had no idea why or how I was up that late, but I recall that he was very, very funny and I enjoyed his self deprecating humor and stories.
Art Donovan passed away in 2013 at the age of 89 due to respiratory disease.
Celebrating the game, the players, the cards, and the autographs for over 25 years.