Robert Bell Obituary; All You Need to Know


Robert Bell passed away. He was one of two Mississippi State football players that broke the color barrier together.

Bell and Frank Dowsing of Tupelo were MSU’s first African-American football players in 1970. Dowsing died in 1994, one of three black students to integrate Tupelo High School prior to attending MSU.


Bell received three letters and obtained a degree in business administration in 1973. Dowsing was a defensive back, while Bell was a defensive lineman.

Robert Bell Obituary

With the untimely loss of Robert Bell, the Mississippi State family has lost one of the university’s greatest Bulldogs, trailblazers, and historical characters. Funeral preparations are pending, the family stated.


“The Mississippi State University community is devastated by the loss of legendary Bulldog football defender Robert Bell,” MSU President Mark Keenum said.


“Robert was instrumental in bringing about change in our state and at our institution via his boldness, character, and competitive spirit.”

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