BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Former Buffalo Bills standout defensive end Ben Williams passed away of natural causes on Monday at the age of 65.
A third-round pick in the 1976 draft, Williams was the first African American to be drafted out of the University of Mississippi. He spent his entire 10 season NFL career as a Buffalo Bill from 1976-85.
“Gentle Ben” certainly did not play gentle. Williams led Buffalo’s defensive line in tackles for five of his last six seasons, and was a member of the 1982 Pro Bowl. His 150 career games as a Bill ranked third all time in team history when he retired prior to the 1986 season.
In 1997, Williams was the first African American from Ole Miss to be inducted into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame.