Albert Reinhold Carmichael (aka Al “Hoagy” Carmichael) died on September 7, 2019. He lived in Palm Desert, California, with his loving wife Barbara Durkee Carmichael at the time of his death. Carmichael was born on November 10, 1928.
A member of the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame, Carmichael held a National Football League (NFL) record for over 50 years for the longest kickoff return — 106-yards — until it was broken in 2007.
Carmichael holds the distinction for having scored the first touchdown in American Football League (AFL) history and in Denver Broncos history, a 59-yard pass reception from Frank Tripucka for the Broncos against the Boston Patriots (now New England Patriots) on September 9, 1960.
A first-round draft choice, Carmichael played in the NFL for the Green Bay Packers between 1953 and 1958; he also played for the Denver Broncos of the then newly formed AFL in 1960 and 1961. He led professional football in kickoff return yards twice in his career.
Prior to turning pro, Carmichael proudly served his country by enlisting in the United States Marine Corps. It was at Marine Corps Air Station El Toro where he discovered his love for the game while playing for the base’s team.
He played for the University of Southern California (USC) in the early 1950’s. In the 1953 Rose Bowl, Carmichael scored the only touchdown of the game, when USC defeated Wisconsin 7-0. Interestingly, he also was a Jr. Rose Bowl champ, having played for Santa Ana College in the late 1940’s.
Off the gridiron, Carmichael was an occasional stuntman and extra actor in more than 50 films including Jim Thorpe – All-American (1951) for Burt Lancaster (1951), Saturday’s Hero (1951), All-American (1953), Pork Chop Hill (1959), It Started with a Kiss (1959), The Big Operator, Elmer Gantry (1960), one of the doubles for Kirk Douglas in Spartacus (1960), Birdman of Alcatraz (1962), Son of Flubber (1962), How the West was Won (1962), and the TV show Rawhide.
Carmichael is survived by his wife Barbara Durkee Carmichael, two daughters Pam and Stacy from his late wife Jan Carmichael, and two stepsons Darin Durkee and Bruce Durkee, and he is preceded in death by his son Chris. Carmichael is also survived by his devoted grandchildren and great grandchildren.
A memorial service for Al Carmichael will be held at Shadow Rock Church, 79390 Highway 111, La Quinta, CA, 92253 on September 28, 2019 at 11:00 am. The public is welcome. www.shadowrockchurch.com