RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- Les Richter, an eight-time Pro Bowl
selection for the Los Angeles Rams who became a top NASCAR
executive after retiring from the NFL, has died. He was 79.
Richter's family said he died Saturday at Riverside (Calif.)
Richter was an All-American linebacker and class valedictorian
at the University of California. He was drafted by the Dallas
Texans in 1952, but did not agree to contract terms and the Rams
acquired his rights for a record 11 players.
He served two years in the Korean War, then played for the Rams
from 1954 to 1962.
His second career started as president of Riverside
International Raceway in 1961. He joined NASCAR in 1983 and grew
into an adviser to then-chairman Bill France Jr.
Richter was named NASCAR's executive vice president of
competition in 1986, and the senior vice president of operations in