Former USC fullback Arthur Hemingway, a fullback on the 1978 National Championship team, died Thursday. He was 49.
LOS ANGELES-Arthur Hemingway, whose promising career as a fullback at USC was cut short after becoming paralyzed when he was hit by a car during fall football camp of his 1978 freshman season, died on Thursday (Feb. 26) at his home in Oceanside, Calif. He was 49. The cause of his death has not been determined.
Funeral services are pending.
On Aug. 23, 1978, Hemingway was walking on a sidewalk near the USC campus when he was hit by a stolen car driven by a 17-year-old fleeing police. He suffered severe head and internal injuries, plus a broken leg, and spent 4 weeks hospitalized in a coma.
He underwent more than 20 operations, including brain surgery twice. Despite a long recovery that left him confined to a wheelchair and with slurred speech, he remained active.
He spent the early 1990s helping coach high school football in the San Diego area. He also wrote his autobiography, which he tried to develop into a screenplay. He started the Arthur Hemingway Foundation to help disabled students pursue their education, highlighted by an annual golf fundraiser.
Hemingway returned to USC at age 30 on a scholarship from USC’s “Swim With Mike” Physically Challenged Athletes Scholarship Fund. Six years after he returned to school and 18 years after his accident, he received his bachelor’s degree in English from USC in 1996. He later earned a master’s degree in education from USC.
He remained a dedicated fan of the Trojans, and often was seen in a motorized cart watching USC’s home football games from the Coliseum tunnel.
Hemingway came to USC from Oceanside High, where he was an All-CIF first team selection as a senior in 1977. Primarily a blocking fullback, he ran for 765 yards, averaging 8.9 yards per carry, and scored 8 touchdowns that season. He was part of USC’s recruiting class of 1978 that included such future greats as Marcus Allen, Chip Banks, Riki Gray Ellison and Roy Foster. He was expected to replace future NFL star Mosi Tatupu, who had started at fullback the previous 3 seasons at USC.
Hemingway is survived by his sisters, Lisa and Pie, and his brother, Molli