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Dean Duane Benson (August 5, 1945 – January 26, 2019) was an American football linebacker and politician.

Duane Benson
No. 50, 51, 52
Personal information
Born:(1945-08-05)August 5, 1945
Belmond, Iowa
Died:January 26, 2019(2019-01-26) (aged 73)
Rochester, Minnesota
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:215 lb (98 kg)
Career information
High school:Grand Meadow (MN)
NFL Draft:1967 / Round: 11 / Pick: 280
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Games played - started:121 - 11
Fumble recoveries:3
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Football careerEdit

Benson played college football and track and field at Hamline University. Benson graduated from Hamline University in 1967.[1] He played professionally in American Football League for the Oakland Raiders (1967–1969) and in the National Football League for the Raiders (1970–1971), the Atlanta Falcons (1972–1973), and the Houston Oilers (1974–1976).[2]

Business and political careerEdit

Benson was a charter member of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, created in 2012 to oversee construction of the state's new professional football stadium. He was the executive director of the Minnesota Business Partnership from 1994 to 2003. Benson owned and operated a cattle farm outside of Lanesboro, Minnesota.[3]

Benson served in the Minnesota Senate, as a Republican, from 1980 to 1994 and was the Senate Minority Leader for six years.[4]


Benson died from cancer, on January 26, 2019 at the Methodist Hospital-Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minnesota.[5] He was 73.

See alsoEdit