Skip to main content

Kansas City Chiefs Official Team Website |

Chiefs Mourn the Passing of Fred Arbanas


The Kansas City Chiefs are saddened by the passing of Chiefs Hall of Fame tight end Fred Arbanas.

"My family and I are saddened by the passing of Fred Arbanas," Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said. "Known for his tenacity and courage on the field, Fred was a key contributor to the early success of the franchise in both Dallas and Kansas City. He was a dynamic threat at the tight end position, and he helped the Chiefs finish as the winningest franchise in the 10-year history of the American Football League. When his playing days were over, Fred dedicated the second phase of his career to public service and made a lasting impact on Jackson County. Our heartfelt condolences are with the Arbanas family during this time."

Drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the second round (22nd overall) of the 1961 NFL Draft and in the seventh round (54th overall) of the 1961 AFL Draft by the Dallas Texans, Arbanas chose to sign with Dallas and went on to a 10-year career with the Texans/Chiefs from 1961-70. Considered to be one of professional football's best tight ends of the era, he was named to the All-Time AFL Team by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, was a five-time AFL All-Star (1962-65, 1967) and earned All-AFL honors on six occasions, despite losing the sight in one eye in an accident in 1964.

Arbanas played in 118 career games with the franchise, registering 198 receptions for 3,101 yards (15.7 avg.) with 34 career receiving touchdowns. He was part of three AFL Championship teams (1962, 1966 and 1969) and started in both Super Bowl I and Super Bowl IV, helping the franchise win its first Super Bowl title following the 1969 season.

Arbanas became the fourth individual to be earn a spot in the Chiefs Hall of Fame when he was inducted in 1973. He was also inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame in 1997 and the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.

Following his retirement from professional football, the Detroit, Michigan, native went on to a to a 42-year career in local government, becoming a member of the Jackson County, Missouri, legislature in 1973. He retired at the end of 2014 having served four times as the Chairman of the Jackson County Legislature (1974, 1975, 1988 and 1989). In 1999, his service to Jackson County was recognized with the renaming of the Longview Lake Golf Course to the Fred Arbanas Golf Course at Longview Lake.

The Detroit, Michigan, native played collegiately at Michigan State from 1957-60.