Paul Salata, creator of Mr. Irrelevant Award, dies at 94

Paul Salata was the man who invented the Mr. The Mr. He was 94.

Paul Salata, creator of Mr. Irrelevant Award, dies at 94

Paul Salata was the man who invented the Mr. The Mr. He was 94.

According to Nick Salata, his nephew, he died from natural causes in Newport Beach, California just one day before his 95th Birthday.

Salata invented the Mr. In 1976, Salata created the Mr. The family was invited to spend a week together in Orange County, enjoying activities such as a trip to Disneyland or a tournament of golf. The Lowsman Trophy, depicting a player throwing a football, was presented to the honoree. Kelvin Kirk, a student at Dayton University, was the first person to receive the title of 487th pick in that year.

The "Irrelevant Week” campaign generated so much attention that the Los Angeles Rams who had the next-to last pick in 1979, deliberately passed to allow the Steelers with the last pick to choose first. Pittsburgh wanted publicity too, and so they passed. The Steelers won the game after Commissioner Pete Rozelle ordered them to pick a player. The Salata Rule was established, which prohibits teams from passing to win the final selection.

A Mr. Irrelevant won the Super Bowl for his first time. Ryan Succop, a Tampa Bay Buccaneers placekicker, started the game. He was the final pick in the 2009 draft.

Salata was a wide receiver for USC in 1944-46, 1947 and 1947. Each year, the Trojans won league championships and reached the Rose Bowl in 1945 when Salata scored a touchdown in their 25-0 win over Tennessee. He was in World War II, and missed the next season due to his service in the Army Air Corps.

Salata was also an infielder for the Trojans' 1948 baseball team that won their first College World Series title. Later, he played minor league baseball.

He was a player in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers (1949-50), Baltimore Colts (50), and Pittsburgh Steelers (50-51). In his career, he caught 50 passes with four touchdowns. He was also a member of the CFL, playing with the Calgary Stampeders (1952), Baltimore Colts (1950), and Pittsburgh Steelers (1950-51). He earned All-Star honors for that season.

Salata was a contractor in the construction industry, most notably as a sewer operator, after she retired.

Salata was seen in 18 films, mainly in the 1950s. This included "Angels in the Outfield" starring Janet Leigh. Uncredited appearances include "Singin’ in the Rain," The Ten Commandments," Stalag 17", and "The Joker Is Wild."

Nick Salata stated, "Everytime 'Stalag 17" came on TV we'd watch it for 800 times." "I can see him telling Aunt Beverly, 'Honey! I'm going to quit football and acting to become a sewer contractor. He was a great guy."

His second wife Carolyn, his son Bradley, Melanie Fitch, and two grandchildren, as well as brother George, are still living. Beverly, his first wife, preceded him in death in 2003.

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