Former Chargers GM AJ Smith dies – dead at 75

Larry Brown Sports

Former longtime Chargers general manager A.J. Smith has died at the age of 75.

The Smith family released a statement on X regarding AJ’s death. Smith had a seven-year battle with prostate cancer. He died Sunday surrounded by loved ones, the family said.

Smith is best known as the winningest GM in Chargers history. He was called “the architect of one of the greatest chapters in franchise history” in a statement released Sunday by the team.

Smith spent 35 years in the NFL. He started his career as a part-time scout for the New York Giants in 1977. Smith had a short stint with the San Diego Chargers in 1985 as a pro personnel director before moving to the Buffalo Bills organization.

After rising through the ranks within the Bills’ front office, Smith returned to San Diego to become the general manager of the Chargers from 2003 to 2012.

The Chargers won 98 games (3 playoff games) throughout Smith’s 10-year run as general manager. The team had the sixth-most wins in the NFL during that span.

The Chargers never made the Super Bowl during Smith’s tenure. The furthest they got in the postseason was the AFC Championship Game in 2007 before losing to the then-undefeated New England Patriots.

Smith is survived by his wife, Susan, his son, Kyle, his daughter, Andrea, his son-in-law, Noah, and three grandchildren.

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