Taylor was arrested Thursday in connection with a reported rape of a teenage girl in the New York City suburbs.
North Carolina standout
Taylor was an All-America linebacker at the University of North Carolina, and was selected as the second overall pick in the 1981 NFL draft by the New York Giants.
Taylor was an NFL star from the start, being named defensive rookie of the year and defensive player of the year in his rookie season, 1981. In 1986 he became the first defensive player ever to win the MVP award unanimously.
Super Bowl champ
Taylor and the Giants capped the 1986 season with a 39-20 win over the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl. Taylor made a key tackle of Denver quarterback John Elway (shown being hit by Taylor in an earlier regular-season game) to prevent a first-half touchdown.
Another Super Bowl championship
Taylor and the Giants won a second Super Bowl after the 1990 season, defeating the Buffalo Bills, 20-19.
Taylor was suspended by the NFL more than once for failing drug tests. He had more bouts with cocaine after his career, going through rehabilitation twice.
Taylor spent all 13 of his NFL seasons playing for the New York Giants and is considered one of the most dominant linebackers in the history of the game. He has 132.5 quarterback sacks to his credit, but that doesn't include the 9.5 he registered as a rookie since sacks didn't become an official NFL statistic until 1982.
Hall of Famer
Taylor was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1999. He was introduced at the ceremony by his son, Lawrence Taylor Jr.
In the ring
After retiring from football, LT defeated Bam Bam Bigelow in a featured match at WrestleMania XI.
Having a ball
Taylor occupied some of his post-NFL time by becoming a contestant on Dancing with the Stars in 2009. He lasted seven weeks before being eliminated.