High school years
Buchanan attended Grambling State University and was a letterman in football and an NAIA All-America selection. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1996. He is one of four players coached by Eddie Robinson enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
In 1963, the 6'7" 287-pound Buchanan was the first player selected overall in the AFL Draft by the American Football League's Kansas City Chiefs. Eddie Robinson, his coach at Grambling, where he had been an NAIA All-America in 1962, called him "the finest lineman I have seen."
Others who had watched Buchanan in action were equally enthusiastic. Buchanan had the physical size plus the athletic instincts to be exceptionally successful at his job of foiling opposing offenses. He was particularly effective at intimidating the passer and in one season alone (1967) he batted down 16 passes at or behind the line of scrimmage. He was clocked at 4.9 in the 40 and 10.2 in the 100 at Grambling and with that speed he could range from sideline to sideline to make tackles.
In spite of the weekly pounding he took on the line of scrimmage, Buchanan was extremely durable. He played in 182 career games that included a string of 166 straight. After dabbling briefly at defensive end as a rookie, Buchanan settled down to his permanent job as the Chiefs' defensive right tackle. He was named to his first AFL All-Star Game after his second season and played in six AFL All-Star games and two AFC-NFC Pro Bowls.
He teamed with Curley Culp, Aaron Brown and Jerry Mays to establish a dominant front four for the Chiefs, culminating in their victory over the Minnesota Vikings in Super Bowl IV.
He was selected to the second team of the AFL All-Time Team, and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990. Two years after he was inducted to the Hall of Fame, he died from lung cancer at the age of 51.
In 1999, he was ranked number 67 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Football Players, right behind his former Chiefs teammate Bobby Bell at number 66. The Chiefs also retired his uniform number 86.
Buchanan once appeared on ABC's The American Sportsman hosted by Grits Gresham of Natchitoches, Louisiana. The program featured Gresham taking celebrities on big-game hunting trips, fishing tournaments, or shooting contests in exotic places around the world.
- Buck Buchanan. (August 8, 2008). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved August 8, 2008.