Jerry Smith was born in 1943 in Livermore, Calif., and raised Catholic. An NFL All-Pro TE for the Redskins from 1965 to 1977, he caught 421 passes and scored 60 TDs in his career - a record he held for nearly 25 years. Smith was the league's third best TE in pass receptions. Reporting on his performance in the 1973 Super Bowl VII, Sports Illustrated described Smith, then 29, as "an outstanding receiver among tight ends, with the ability to break open for a long gain."
Although there was much speculation and assumption of Smith being gay, he himself never really came out. He was later outed by former teammate David Kopay, in his autobiography, as his 1st lover. After retiring from football, he lived in different cities and co-owned The Boathouse, a gay bar in Austin, Texas. Before dying of AIDS on Oct. 15, 1986, Smith acknowledged having the disease.
Smith retired with a then NFL record 60 touchdown catches for tight ends. He finished 2nd All Time behind Hall Of Famer Mike Ditka for receptions and yards receiving by tight ends. To this day, he ranks tops in Washington Redskin history for tight ends in catches, yards receiving and touchdowns. He is also tied with 3 others with 12 TD's caught in a season, and tied with 10 others with 3 TD's in one game (something he did twice). His team record 67 catches (in 14 games) for a tight end in a single season was surpassed by Chris Cooley (in 16 games) in 2005. Smith still ranks 3rd in Redskin history in TD catches, and 4th in receptions.
Sources: Bleacher Report