Jesse Whittenton: 1934-2012
Originally drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in 1956, Jesse Whittenton came to the Green Bay Packers as a free agent via the Chicago Bears in 1958. It’s with the Packers that Whittenton enjoyed his greatest success, earning first-team All Pro in 1961 and two Pro Bowl berths.
Whittenton’s first game with the Packers was the only game the team won in 1958 (a 38-35 over the Eagles). He grabbed his only interception that season against the Bears two weeks later.
In 1960, Whittenton led the Packers with six interceptions.
In a key win against the Giants in a 1961 playoff game, he stole the ball from running back Alex Webster, setting up a Packers’ score.
Whittenton intercepted 20 passes and recovered 10 fumbles in his Packers career. He was a starter on the 1961 and ‘62 Packers championship teams coached by Vince Lombardi.
After the 1964 season, Whittenton retired from football and purchased the Horizon Country Club — now Emerald Springs Golf and Conference Center in Horizon City, Texas. He eventually sold the course and started the Santa Teresa Country Club in El Paso. He was a member of the Senior PGA Tour in the late 1980s.
In his 112-game NFL career, Whittenton intercepted 24 passes. He was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 1976.
Rest in peace Jesse Whittenton. You will be missed, but you’ll always be a Green Bay Packer.
In 2011, PackersHallofFame.com’s Rich Fercy sat down with Jesse prior to the 50th anniversary reunion of the 1961 championship team. Listen as Jesse reminisces about his teammates, favorite plays and Vince Lombardi.
How Jesse Whittenton got the nickname ‘The Katzenjammer Kids’
Going skiing with Boyd Dowler in Colorado
Jesse Whittenton first sponsored Lee Trevino on the pro golf circuit
Memorable roommate Fuzzy Thurston
Whittenton’s trademark play ‘The Steal’
Playing golf with Vince Lombardi
Initial fan reaction to Jesse in Green Bay
The difference between Lombardi and former coach Scooter McLean