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Bart Starr Says Son Died From Cocaine

July 14, 1988

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) _ National Football League Hall of Fame member Bart Starr called for tougher drug laws Wednesday after disclosing that his son died from cocaine use.

Bret Starr, 24, was found dead last week in his Tampa, Fla., home. He was buried Monday in Montgomery, Ala.

″Drugs do kill,″ Starr said. ″He only had traces and yet the traces killed him.″

Hillsborough, Fla., sheriff’s spokesman Jack Espinosa said the medical examiner ruled Starr’s son died of ″cardiac arrhythmia due to acute cocaine indulgence. It’s not necessarily an overdose.″

Starr said stopping drug abuse is society’s responsibility.

″All of us, one-on-one, at every level of society, should pressure those who can change our laws to severely punish those who deal and sell drugs because drugs are a killer,″ said the former Green Bay Packers quarterback and coach.

″I’m vitally concerned that we’re losing the war or have lost the war on drugs,″ he said. ″I don’t think people are aware of the severity of the problem. It’s worldwide, it’s extremely severe and it’s growing.″

Officials said Bret Starr died accidentally on July 4 or 5. His body, unrecognizable because of decomposition, was found July 7 when his father went to the house.

Starr, who quarterbacked the Green Bay Packers through the glory years of the 1960s and later returned as coach, discussed his son’s battle with cocaine in his recent book: ″My Life in Football: Starr.″

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