"In his office in Tennessee there was a picture of him that I'd taken. That was the most meaningful part of this project to me, because I had gotten into his space without him knowing that I worshipped him as a kid. So that was a pleasure. But shooting him was difficult because of all the baggage that I was carrying—the hero worship."
The 78-year-old set a record with 12 catches for 178 yards and a touchdown in the 1958 NFL title game.
C/LB Philadelphia Eagles
"He still has a clear memory of his hit on Frank Gifford in 1960—the most famous hit in football," Iooss says. "I asked where he hit him, and he took his arm and wrapped it around my neck. You could still feel the power. He's 86 and can probably still take you down. But he seems almost angelic. You almost wanted to hug him. He's very sweet."
A legend in Philly, the man known as Concrete Charlie was a five-time All-Pro and the last to play both sides of the ball full-time.
RB/FL Baltimore Colts
"Dealing with Lenny was like dealing with a reverend. He's very calm and soft-spoken, he's so gentle and so sweet," Iooss says. "I loved Lenny's shoot because it almost had a Biblical, spiritual feel to it. I shot him and Art Donovan at the InterContinental Hotel in Baltimore. The Colts are still a part of that community—there's still a special bond."
Staring down the challenge of being a pioneering black player in a Southern town, the 77-year-old led the NFL in yards per carry four times, averaging 4.8 for his career.