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Jeremy Rich

Americanfootball place kicker, was born in Parys, Orange Free State, South Africa on 16 July 1959. His father, Douglas Anderson, was an Irish-born Protestant minister who had previously played professional soccer in Great Britain. Anderson's mother was South African of European descent. His brother Douglas was a skilled rugby player who taught Anderson how to kick. Since American football was unfamiliar to South Africans, Anderson did not play the sport as a child. Anderson spent most of his early years in Durban in the Natal Province of South Africa. His parents became so horrified by the violence of the apartheid government that they left South Africa in 1978 two years after the bloody repression of the Soweto uprising Until his family moved to the United States Anderson attended Buttonwood High School for his secondary education Though Anderson s athletic career did not take place in South ...

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Adam R. Hornbuckle

the son of Arthur and Mamie Bradley; his father worked as a barber for the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railroad. Bradley, who grew up in the Chicago south side neighborhood of Woodlawn, attended Englewood High School. As a guard on the football team, he earned all-state honors. After graduating high school, Bradley entered the University of Iowa, in Iowa City. He played guard on the Hawkeyes’ football team from 1926 to 1928. Bradley, who became the second African American to play football at Iowa after Duke Slater, left the university before graduation, having received an offer to work as a carrier for the U.S. Postal Service. His, as well as Slater’s, athletic participation at Iowa, established the institution as a “safe haven” for black athletes.

Bradley s football skills caught the attention of Slater who was playing professional football for the Chicago Cardinals of the National Football ...

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Kate Tuttle

By the time Jim Brown retired in 1965 after nine seasons in the National Football League (NFL), many sports writers had described him as the best fullback ever to carry a football. Born on Simmons Island, Georgia, Jim Brown moved with his mother to Long Island, New York, at the age of seven. An all-state athlete in high school in football, basketball, and track, he became a four-sport star in college, adding lacrosse to his arsenal while at Syracuse University.

After graduating in 1957, Brown received job offers from professional baseball and basketball teams as well as invitations to become a boxer, but he chose to sign with the NFL's Cleveland Browns. The NFL named Brown Rookie of the Year in 1957 and chose him as its Most Valuable Player three times in his brief career He played in the Pro Bowl nine times setting records for ...

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David F. Smydra

athlete, actor, and activist, was born James Nathaniel Brown on Saint Simons Island, Georgia, to Theresa and Swinton Brown, a onetime boxer, who abandoned Theresa and their son two weeks after his birth. A couple of years later Theresa departed for Long Island, New York, to take a domestic job, leaving Jim to be raised by his great-grandmother and grandmother, the latter an alcoholic. By 1944 Theresa had saved enough money to send for Jim, and they were reunited in Manhasset, Long Island, for the first time in six years. Despite the usual friction of being the new kid—he was once accused by his peers of fighting dirty—Brown eventually distinguished himself athletically. He gained the attention of a local policeman, who lent Brown keys to the high school gym so that the youth could organize Police Boys' Club games whenever he and his friends wanted to play.At Manhasset ...

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Julian C. Madison

athlete, actor, civic activist. Jim Brown is generally recognized as the greatest football player and the greatest lacrosse player of all time. At 6 feet 2 inches tall, weighing 228 pounds, and with a 32-inch waist, Brown combined great speed with a powerful running style and fearsome stiff-arm to terrorize National Football League (NFL) defenders for nine years. The only person in history voted into three halls of fame (college football, college lacrosse, and the NFL), Brown is arguably the greatest athlete of the twentieth century.

James Nathaniel Brown was born on Saint Simons Island, Georgia, to Swinton “Sweet Sue” and Theresa Brown Swinton Brown left his family barely two weeks after his son was born and they rarely heard from him afterward When Jim was two his mother left him in the care of his great grandmother and moved to Great Neck Long Island where ...

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Adam R. Hornbuckle

track and field athlete, Olympic decathlon champion, professional football player, community organizer, and motivational speaker, was born on 9 December 1933, in Plainfield, New Jersey. Milton Gray Campbell was the second of three children of Thomas and Edith Campbell. His father worked as a taxi cab driver and his mother as a domestic. At Plainfield High School Campbell excelled in football, track and field, and swimming. In his junior year he competed in the 100 meters and the 110-meter high hurdles at the 1952 United States Olympic Trials finishing sixth in the second semifinal heat of the 100 meters and fifth in the finals of the 110 meter high hurdles Later that summer Campbell competed in the Amateur Athletic Union AAU Decathlon National Championships which also served as the Olympic Trials for the two day ten event contest In his first attempt at ...

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Adam R. Hornbuckle

His mother’s maiden name was Jones. Carey graduated from Santa Clara University in 1971 with a bachelor’s degree in Biology. A running back on the SCU football team, he played for four years until an ankle injury ended his playing career. In 1972 Carey began officiating Pop Warner football games in San Diego and, in 1985, became a college football referee for the Western Athletic Conference. In 1990 the National Football League (NFL) hired him as a line judge and in 1995 promoted him to referee. Carey, who became the second African American referee in the NFL since Johnny Grier in 1988, served as an alternate official for Super Bowl XXXVI between the New England Patriots and the St. Louis Rams on 3 February 2002.

On 3 October 2005 Carey officiated the game between the Green Bay Packers and the Carolina Panthers with his older brother ...

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Daniel R. Gilbert

Davis, Ernie (14 December 1939–18 May 1963), football player, was born in New Salem, Pennsylvania, a coal mining district. The names and occupations of his parents cannot be ascertained. He never knew his father, who left the family soon after his son’s birth and subsequently died in an accident. His mother moved to Elmira, New York, leaving the one-year-old Ernie with his grandparents in nearby Uniontown, Pennsylvania. Ten years later Davis rejoined his mother in Elmira.

Davis’s athletic career began at the Elmira Free Academy, where he starred in both basketball and football. He was named a Scholastic Coach magazine high school All-American in both sports in 1957–1958 but was recruited to play football by more than thirty-five schools, including Notre Dame. He chose to go to Syracuse University because of its proximity to Elmira and the intercession of an Elmira attorney and a Syracuse alumnus.

Davis ...

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Thomas Aiello

football player and entrepreneur. Melvin Farr was born and raised in Beaumont, Texas, the son of Dorothea Farr, a domestic worker, and Miller Farr, a truck driver. There he attended the segregated Hebert High School, where he played baseball and basketball and earned All-State honors in football and track. Farr played at Hebert in the shadow of his older brother Miller, who went on to play collegiate football at Wichita State before a long professional career as a defensive back. Mel's success, however, drove him far from Wichita or Beaumont: he earned a football scholarship to UCLA in 1963 Although Farr remained healthy throughout his high school career he broke his arm the first of many football related injuries during his sophomore year in college Following that injury Farr was an All American running back as a junior and senior gaining 1 630 yards in those ...

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Joseph Wilson David

The game known in the United States as football evolved into its current form from rugby and soccer (“soccer” is still called “football” in most countries outside North America) in the nineteenth century. The Intercollegiate Football Association (IFA) was founded in 1876 to organize this new game. Rules for the precursor to the modern game were developed by the twenty-year-old Walter Camp at Yale University in 1879.

Camp codified innovations begun earlier in the century when William Ebb Ellis playing soccer violated the rule against running with the ball The modern sport of football in the United States is a game that features eleven players on each side of the ball with the team on offense seeking to move the ball ten yards on each play or down which begins with the snap of the ball Failing to gain ten yards in four downs means turning the ball ...

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Alonford James Robinson

For many years, black college football in the United States centered on historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs). African American football players were not welcome on white campuses until the late 1950s, and not until the late 1960s in the Deep South. Before that time, Jim Crow segregation meant separate teams and leagues for black players.

The first black college football game took place in North Carolina in 1892; Biddle College defeated Livingston College. Thereafter, black college football became a major social event on campus, bringing students and alumni together. By the beginning of the twentieth century, several major school rivalries had developed, including Virginia Union-Virginia State, Tuskegee Institute-Talladega College, and Fisk University-Meharry College. The intensity and popularity of these rivalries persuaded several colleges to form a conference in 1912. That year Howard University, Lincoln University, Hampton University and Shaw University of North ...

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Alonford James Robinson

American professional football originated in 1869 from a combination of two internationally popular games, rugby and soccer. During the early years of professional football, African Americans were banned from teams in the country's premier league, the National Football League (NFL). Today, African Americans dominate the sport on the playing field, but have yet to be sufficiently represented in the ranks of coaches and managers.

The first known African American to play professional football was running back Charles Follis, who signed with the Shelby Athletic Club of Shelby, Ohio, in 1902. Professional football moved toward full racial integration in intermittent waves. For thirty-one years the playing field was integrated, although in a limited way, with a relatively small number of black players. Then, in 1933, the NFL banned African American athletes entirely. When the NFL was reintegrated in 1946 black players made an immediate impact upon the ...

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Adam R. Hornbuckle

professional football player, was born on 29 December 1950, in Charleston, West Virginia. Joseph Wiley Gilliam Jr. was the third of four children of Ruth and Joseph Gilliam. His father, a former All-American quarterback at West Virginia State University in Institute, worked as a high school basketball and football coach. In 1952 Gilliam's father became the head basketball and football coach at Oliver High School, in Winchester, Kentucky and in 1955 an assistant football coach under John A. Merritt at Jackson State University in Mississippi. After a brief stint as the head football coach at Kentucky State University in Frankfort from 1957 to 1958, the senior Gilliam rejoined Merritt's coaching staff at Jackson State in 1958. His father became the defensive coordinator at Tennessee State University (known then as Tennessee A&I University), in Nashville, where Merritt had become the head coach in 1963.

Gilliam s ...

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Adam R. Hornbuckle

football player, was born in Canton, Mississippi, the eldest of nine children of Moses Greenwood and a mother whose name is not recorded. Greenwood reputedly claimed that L. C. stood for “Lover Cool” but later insisted that the initials did not stand for anything. He once recalled that he started playing football at Rogers High School in Canton so as to avoid after-school chores. After graduating from high school in 1965, Greenwood received several academic and athletic scholarship offers. He turned down an offer to study pharmacy at Clark College in Atlanta (now Clark Atlanta University) but accepted an athletic scholarship to play football at Arkansas Mechanical & Normal College, now known as the University of Arkansas–Pine Bluff. As a freshman Greenwood replaced an injured starting defensive end, after which he started at either defensive end or defensive tackle for the next four years. Selected as a 1968 ...

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Adam R. Hornbuckle

collegiate and professional football player and professional football executive, was born James Larnell “Shack” Harris on 20 July 1947, in Monroe, Louisiana, the second son and the third child of Nashall and Laila Harris. His father, a former semi-professional baseball player for the Negro League Monroe Monarchs, worked as a furniture maker and a Baptist minister; his mother worked as a nurse.

Harris began playing football at Carroll High School in Monroe in 1961. As the sophomore quarterback of the football team, he led the Bulldogs to a 12–0 record and the state championship in 1962. By the end his junior season, Harris had led Carroll to a 24–1 record, in which the Bulldogs scored an average of 35 points a game. In 1964 after the completion of his senior season the two time high school All American visited Michigan State University in Lansing on ...

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Kadeem Johnson

first African American Yale University football captain and corporate executive, was born in New Haven, Connecticut, to Virginia-born parents, Adaline Hogan Jackson, a house cleaner, and George W. Jackson, a Yale dining hall chef. Not much is known about his childhood, but from his earliest years, Jackson became known for his athleticism and academic achievements.

He joined Hillhouse High School football team after he moved from Branford, Connecticut to New Haven. The Hillhouse football team was 0-7-1 the previous season. In his first year in 1943 he led the team to a perfect 7-0 season and rushed for 272 yards, scoring six touchdowns and adding four extra points in a 52-6 victory over their rival, West Haven. In 1945 Levi Jackson s senior year at Hillhouse the team s record was 7 1 He was selected for the All State team twice He also starred in basketball ...

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Gerardo Del Guercio

black and Florida native to play in the National Hockey League (NHL), Valmore Edwin James was born in Ocala, Florida and grew up on Long Island. He later moved to Quebec City, Quebec, Canada to play for the Quebec Remparts of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL). The hard-hitting left-winger and defenseman made two short National Hockey League appearances in the 1980s. He was chiefly an enforcer on numerous minor league professional teams from 1978 to 1988 Henry James Val James s father was the operations manager for the Long Island Arena where Val James played hockey as a child and teenager Val James s mother Pernella was a housewife as well as a mother to six children In the late 1940s Henry James relocated the family from Ocala Florida to the calm New York exurb of Suffolk County to escape the Jim Crow South The move came ...

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One of eight children, Jones grew up just outside Jackson and attended East High School, where his height made him a natural center on the basketball team and first baseman on the baseball team. After his father died in 1968, his mother moved the family to Jackson proper, and Jones transferred to Merry High School. He began playing football his senior year, and while he didn’t see much action, became convinced (partially by his brother-in-law, a coach on the team) that his future lay on the gridiron.

Offered scholarships to numerous colleges for basketball and baseball Jones decided to enroll at the nearby historically black college Tennessee State University Though recruited to play basketball for the Tigers he left the sport after his sophomore year to concentrate on football under coach John Merritt It was at a football practice that he was tagged with his iconic sobriquet when a ...

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Adam R. Hornbuckle

His parents, Ono and Hattie Perkins Kemp, moved from Virginia to Cecil, where his father worked in nearby coal mines. Ray Kemp graduated from Cecil High School in 1926. In high school he played football and baritone saxophone and participated in the oratorical society. After graduation Kemp worked with his father in the coal mine, before entering Duquesne University in Pittsburgh in 1927.

At Duquesne Kemp joined the football team coached by Elmer Layden, one of the famed Four Horsemen of Notre Dame, who later served as the commissioner of the National Football League (NFL) from 1941 to 1946. Kemp, who played defensive tackle, started for the Duquesne Dukes in his sophomore year and by the end of his senior season received honorable mention on several All-American lists. After graduation in 1931 he enrolled in graduate school at Duquesne and assisted Layden as the defensive line ...

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Adam R. Hornbuckle

the oldest of two children of Joe Lillard, a coal miner, and Annie Johnson, a housekeeper. His mother had a three-year-old son, Ben Johnson, from a previous marriage. In 1908, a year after the birth of Lillard’s sister, Julia, his father abandoned the family. Lillard learned how to throw a baseball from his step-brother and in 1911 played pitcher on the McKinley grade school baseball team in Mason City, Iowa. Following the death of their mother in 1915, he and his sister lived with Eva Steiner, a family friend. In 1918 Lillard entered the state Training Institute for homeless and orphaned boys in Eldora, Iowa. At the Institute he learned several trades and skills, played football and basketball, and participated in track and field.

After returning to Mason City in 1921 Lillard discovered that Steiner and his sister had moved to Milwaukee Wisconsin He moved in with ...