Michigan State pioneer passes away
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Michigan State pioneer passes away

Clifton Roaf, a retired dentist, was Underground Railroad's first passenger

Photo: Clifton Roaf with his son Willie at the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Some sad news on the passing of a Michigan State football pioneer.

My research for book Raye of Light revealed he was the first passenger on Duffy Daugherty's Michigan State Underground Railroad. He was very proud of that, and I was proud to meet him and make him a key figure in the book. His story told in Chapter 11 in Raye of Light: "Passengers"

Note last quote in story I wrote 12-9-14

Death announced on facebook by his daughter, Mary Roaf, a professor at Northern Arizona. Son is Pro and College Football Hall of Famer Willie Roaf.

My story with Clifton Roaf on a family member introducing a Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee

Clifton Roaf on introducing his son at the Pro Football Hall of Fame

Tom Shanahan

Tom Shanahan

Tom Shanahan is an award-winning sportswriter and the author of "Raye of Light". Tom has also written for the San Diego Union-Tribune, Voice of San Diego, Chargers.com, Rivals.com, and Gameday Central. He has won multiple first-place awards from the San Diego Press Club and first place from the Copley News Service Ring of Truth Awards. The National Football Foundation/San Diego Chapter presented him its Distinguished American Award in 2003 and USA Track and Field’s San Diego Chapter its President’s Award in 2000.

Raye of Light: Jimmy Raye, Duffy Daugherty, the integration of college football and the 1965-66 Michigan State Spartans

By Tom Shanahan; Foreword by Tony Dungy; August Publications

Purchase Raye of Light from Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com or from August Publishing.

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