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Roy Hord Jr., 67; Ex-Ram Guard and Riverside Raceway Executive

October 28, 2002|Martin Henderson | Times Staff Writer

Former Ram football guard Roy Hord Jr., who later was general manager of Riverside International Raceway and long was active in politics and community projects in Riverside, died of cancer Thursday. He was 67.

Hord was born in Charlotte, N.C., on Dec. 25, 1934. He attended Duke University, where he played defensive tackle and offensive guard, and was named first-team All-American in 1957.

He was drafted by the Los Angeles Rams in 1960, and eventually played guard for three seasons. He also played one season each with the Philadelphia Eagles and New York Jets.

Hord previously served in the Army for two years, where his athletic prowess caused a stir. His overseas unit trained at Bitburg Air Force Base in Germany, and when it was learned that Hord had been drafted by the Rams, the base commander demanded that he play for Air Force teams in Europe instead of Army teams.

Hord, who was 6 feet 5 and weighed 260 pounds in his playing days, played football, basketball and baseball for the Air Force in 1958 and 1959 before starting his pro career with the Rams.

After his NFL career ended in 1965, he became general manager of Riverside International Raceway, a job he held until 1983.

The raceway closed shortly after he left to become legislative aide to Riverside County Supervisor Norton Younglove. Hord also was a legislative aide to Riverside County Supervisor Tom Mullen until December.

Hord was recognized as a football legend at Duke in 1998, and inducted into the school's sports hall of fame in 2001.

In Riverside, where he lived for 33 years, Hord helped found the boosters club for Riverside Community College, and served on the city's Chamber of Commerce, Planning Commission, downtown partnership and community college foundation.

He also was on the boards of Inland Empire National Bank and Riverside Community Hospital, and was active with Young Life Christian Fellowship and the Boy Scouts.

"He didn't say no to anything," said his wife of 45 years, Jo.

In addition to his wife, Hord is survived by three sons, Trip, Chip and Randy, all of Riverside; and four grandchildren.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Calvary Presbyterian Church in Riverside.

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