Don Irwin was born in New York City on July 22, 1913, and attended the Utica Free Academy. He went on to play football for Colgate University.

Don was drafted in the seventh round of the 1936 NFL Draft by the Boston Redskins played professional football for the Boston in 1936 and moved with the team to Washington, in 1937. In 1936, he played two regular season games for Boston, rushed for 78 yards and caught two passes for 31 yards. Against the Packers in the 1936 NFL Championship Game, he had 12 carries for 39 yards.

Don Irwin passed away in Detroit on June 8, 1983, at age 69.