EWC Mourns the Passing of James "Cannonball" Butler


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Former Edward Waters College Running Back, James “Cannonball” Butler passed away Tuesday in Atlanta, Georgia at the age of 70. Butler is EWC’s most decorated football player and NFL All-Pro.

During his time at Edward Waters College, Butler was a four-year All-American, All-SEAC, & All-HBCU selection and was instrumental in the Tigers undefeated 1964 South East Atlantic Conference Championship season. During the ’64 season, the Tiger offense scored a total of 496 points, the most points ever scored in one season.

A native of Quincy, Florida, Butler was drafted in the 14th round of the 1965 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he played until 1967. Butler then signed with the Atlanta Falcons in 1968 and spent four seasons with the team. Butler’s best season was in 1969 when he was selected to the Pro Bowl. Butler ended his eight-year NFL career in 1972 with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Butler’s number “24” still remains the only retired jersey in Tiger football history.