Julius Whittier, the first African-American athlete to letter in football at Texas, died on the morning of Tuesday, September 25. Whitter died at the age of 68-years-old.
Whittier was famous for being one of the first black athletes in the United States to receive a football scholarship after he received an offer from the University Of Texas. Whittier graduated from San Antonio Highlands High School in 1969 before attending UT.
As an offensive tackle for the UT Longhorns, Whittier was a member of three straight Southwest Conference Championship teams from 1970 to 1972 while also winning national title in 1970.
Whittier would eventually graduate from the University Texas with an undergraduate degree in philosophy before earning a graduate degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs in 1976.
Around 2012, Whittier was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, which caused his mental state continued to further deteriorate until his death.
The school announced his death Thursday, citing family. No cause of death or age was given.
Whittier was among the first black athletes to receive a scholarship to Texas. The Longhorns had the last all-white national championship team in 1969. Whittier was an offensive tackle for the Longhorns from 1970 to 1971 and moved to tight end as a senior in 1972.
He earned a law degree from Texas and became a prosecutor in Dallas. He was inducted into school’s Hall of Honor in 2013.
Whittier’s family sued the NCAA in 2014. The federal lawsuit seeks up to $50 million for players from 1960 to 2014 who did not play in the NFL. The case is still pending.
He was inducted into the Longhorn Men’s Hall of Honor on November 1, 2013.
At this time, no official cause of death has been given.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Whittier’s family at this time.