Notre Dame's Third Heisman Trophy: Leon Hart (1949)

As a four-year letterwinner with the Fighting Irish, Leon Hart (‘50) did not lose a single game (36-0-2) and was a three-time first-team All-American. In 1949, he was voted the Associated Press male athlete of the year, so it should probably come as no surprise that he also became Notre Dame’s third Heisman Trophy winner, following that season. The Turtle Creek, Penn. native caught 19 passes for 257 yards and five touchdowns, while also running for 73 yards on 18 carries and recovering three fumbles. A right end, he is one of only two linemen to ever win the Heisman and part of the last wave of two-way players. This ‘Strong and True’ moment features University of Notre Dame Archives photos from Hart’s Heisman season and memorable Fighting Irish career.

1949 Heisman Trophy results
1. Leon Hart, Notre Dame (995)
2. Charlie Justice, N. Carolina (272)
3. Doak Walker, SMU (229)
4. Arnold Galiffa, Army (196)
5. Bob Williams, Notre Dame (189)
6. Eddie LeBaron, Pacific (122)
7. Clayton Tonnemaker, Minn. (81)
8. Emil Sitko, Notre Dame (79)

Hart pose

Leon Hart poses inside Notre Dame Stadium, circa 1949.


Hart Heisman Trophy

Leon Hart was the third Notre Dame player to win the Heisman Trophy.


Hart run

Hart carries the ball for a touchdown with a block from Bill Barrett (#37).


1949 Notre Dame team

In 1949, Notre Dame finished 10-0 and earned the university’s seventh national championship.


Hart in uniform

Leon Hart was a three-time consensus All-American and went 36-0-2 during his Notre Dame career.


Hart action

As a senior right end, Hart caught 19 passes for 257 yards and five touchdowns.


Hart block

Hart (#82) block as the Irish’s Frank Tripucka runs against Washington.