The fighter quit college, where he played football with movie star James Caan, to become a professional in the ring.
A heavyweight contender in the 1960s, he was knocked down 11 times during a title fight with Floyd Patterson in 1961 - but he refused to stay on the canvas.
He retired from boxing in 1966 with a 37-14 record.
McNeeley suffered a stroke recently, and was on life support in a Massachusetts hospital when he died on Tuesday (25Oct11).
His son Peter fought Mike Tyson in 1995.