Joe Kapp, the "toughest Chicano" died Monday at the age of 85. Pixabay

The "toughest Chicano" and the first Latino football player to lead a team to the Super Bowl died on Monday at the age of 85.

Joe Kapp died after a protracted battle with dementia, according to a statement from the University of California, Berkeley, where he studied.

Kapp, a native of New Mexico whose mother was of Mexican American descent, is the only quarterback to have participated in Canada's Grey Cup, the Rose Bowl, and the Super Bowl.

He still shares the NFL record for most touchdown passes in a single game with seven, which he threw against Baltimore in 1969 for the Minnesota Vikings.

As the first Latino player to lead his team to the Super Bowl in 1970, Kapp created history.

As one of the first Mexican Americans to play professional football, he paved the way. The only other Mexican American to start at quarterback in a Super Bowl was Jim Plunkett.

"Men like Joe Kapp are the cornerstones the Minnesota Vikings franchise was built upon," Mark Wilf, Vikings owner and president, said in a statement. "Joe's toughness and competitive spirit defined the Vikings teams of his era, and his tenacity and leadership were respected by teammates and opponents alike. We mourn Joe's loss with his family, friends and Vikings fans around the world."

He led the Golden Bears to a Pacific Coast Conference title in 1958 during his collegiate career at Cal, and a trip to the Rose Bowl where the Bears lost to Iowa.

Before making it to the NFL, Kapp played in the Canadian Football League, leading the British Columbia Lions to their first Grey Cup title in 1964.

In 1984, Kapp was enshrined in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

"Joe Kapp will go down as one of the all-time great players for not only our franchise but the entire Canadian Football League," Neil McEvoy, BC Lions co-general manager and director of football operations, said in a statement.

When he was the head coach at Cal, his team executed "The Play" in 1982, a crazy five-lateral kickoff return with no time remaining, which is widely recognized as the single greatest play and game ending in college football history.

Kevin Moen scored while running through the Stanford marching band, crushing a trombone player and winning the year's Big Game for Cal.

"Playing for and coaching at Cal meant the world to him," his son J.J. Kapp told The Associated Press.

On the field, Kapp was known for being a warrior, and a Sports Illustrated cover story nicknamed him "The Toughest Chicano." That was the title of Kapp's autobiography, which was co-authored by his son J.J. Kapp and two of his friends and published in 2019.

He dabbled in acting as well, and among his acting credits is a part in the 1974 movie "The Longest Yard," which is about a prison football squad.

Kapp was survived by his second wife, Jennifer Kapp; four children and six grandchildren. Marcia Kapp, his first wife, died in 2005.

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