- Won the Outland Trophy for the nation's best interior lineman at Utah State in 1961.
- Graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Utah State.
- Was a first-round draft pick (third overall) in 1962 by the Los Angeles Rams.
- With Deacon Jones, Lamar Lundy and Rosey Grier, made up the Fearsome Foursome, one of the NFL's all-time great defensive lines.
- Played together with his brother Phil on the Rams from 1971 to '74.
- Named to 14 consecutive Pro Bowls, beginning in his rookie season. Also named NFL MVP in 1974 by the Maxwell Club.
- Earned his masters in economics from Utah State while playing for the Rams.
- Retired from the NFL in 1976, signing on with NBC the following year to work as a broadcaster opposite Dick Enberg.
- Joined Little House on the Prairie in 1977 as Michael Landon's new sidekick Jonathan Garvey.
- Starred in his own series, Father Murphy, in 1981.
- Named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1982.
- Was commercial spokesman for FTD Florists.
- In 2009, Utah State's football field was named in his honor, Merlin Olsen Field.
- Diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2009, he sued NBC and other companies for allowing him to be exposed to asbestos. He succumbed to the disease in 2010.
- Colleen Davis — Sister
- Jill — Daughter
- Phil Olsen — Brother
- Lynn Jay Olsen — Father
- Nathan Olsen — Son
- Lorraine Elzinga — Sister
- Winona Barrett — Sister
- Merle Olsen — Mother
- Gwen Saltern — Sister
- Ramona Whitaker — Sister
- Kelly — Daughter
- Clark Olsen — Brother
- Susan Wakely — Wife
- Orrin Olsen — Brother
- Hans Olsen — Nephew
- Utah State University, Logan, UT (BA in Economics, 1962; MA in Economics, 1970)
Season 6, Episode 24
- Birth Name: Merlin Jay Olsen
- Birth Place: Logan, UT
- Birthday: September 15, 1940, Virgo
- Died: March 11, 2010
- Profession: Football player, Actor