The Dallas Cowboys first draft pick ever, Bob Lilly, will visit the new Dallas Public Library, 5707 Skillman, with award-winning sportswriter and neighborhood resident Sam Blair Sept. 14.
The two men will promote their book, “Bob Lilly: Reflections,” which is a photo essay of photos Lilly took throughout his Cowboy career from 1961-1974.
Lilly, a former Lake Highlands resident, played defensive tackle and was the first Cowboy inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the first enshrined in Texas Stadium’s Ring of Honor. He played with the Cowboys when they won their first Super Bowl in 1972.
Blair wrote for the Dallas Morning News for 41 years and began covering professional football in 1961, the first year the Dallas Cowboys played in the National Football League.
Blair and Lilly met through Blair’s coverage of the team.
Lilly made the Kodak All-American team as a senior at Texas Christian University and part of the award was his first camera – along with a year’s worth of film.
That’s when Lilly discovered his love for photography, he says.
“It’s a challenge like hunting. You’re hunting a picture,” Lilly says. Lilly has had a darkroom in his home since the late ’60s and carries a camera with him just about everywhere he goes, he says.
After viewing some of Lilly’s photographs, Blair suggested they combine efforts and compile a book with photos, anecdotes and memories of the Dallas Cowboys’ first team.
Lilly and Blair will be signing books from 11 a.m.-noon and will donate 12 books to the Dallas Public Library.