- George Halas
Caption=George Halas, during his brief career with the
New York Yankeesin 1919.
February 2 1895
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
October 31 1983(age age|1895|2|2|1983|10|31)
Wide receiver Defensive end
College=University of Illinois
Championships=1963 NFL Championship
1946 NFL Championship
1941 NFL Championship
1940 NFL Championship
1933 NFL Championship
1921 NFL Championship
Record=318-148-32 (Regular Season)
Awards=1919 Rose Bowl MVP
1965 AP NFL COY
1963 AP NFL COY
1965 Sporting News NFL COY
1963 Sporting News NFL COY
1965 UPI NFL COY
1963 UPI NFL COY
NFL 1920s All-Decade Team
Career Wins (324)
Retired #s=Chicago Bears #7
PFRCoach = HalaGe0
Decatur Staleys Chicago Staleys Chicago Bears Chicago Bears Chicago Bears Chicago Bears
Decatur Staleys Chicago Staleys Chicago Bears
George Stanley Halas, Sr. (
February 2 1895– October 31 1983), nicknamed "Papa Bear" and "Mr. Everything", was an American player, coach, owner and pioneer in professional football and the iconic longtime leader of the NFL's Chicago Bears.
Early life and sports career
Halas, born in
Chicago, Illinoisinto a family of Hungarian immigrants, had a varied career in sports. His name means Fischer in Hungarian. In 1915, Halas worked temporarily for Western Electric and was planning on being on the " Eastland". He was running late, however, and missed the capsizing. After graduating from Lane Tech High Schoolin Chicago, he attended the University of Illinois, playing football for coach Bob Zuppkeas well as baseballand basketball, and earning a degree in civil engineering. He also became a member of Tau Kappa Epsilonfraternity. He helped Illinois win the 1918 Big Ten football title.
Serving as an ensign in the Navy during
World War I, he played for a team at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station, and was named the MVP of the 1919 Rose Bowl. On a team which included Paddy Driscolland Jimmy Conzelman, Halas scored two touchdowns and returned an intercepted pass 77 yards in a 17-0 win; the team was also rewarded with their military discharges.
Afterward, Halas played minor league and semi-pro baseball, eventually earning a promotion to the
New York Yankees, where he played 12 games as an outfielderin 1919. However, a hip injury effectively ended his baseball career. The popular myth was that Halas was succeeded as the Yankees' right fielderby Babe Ruth, but in reality Ruth replaced Sammy Vick.
Professional football career
Offered a position with the A. E. Staley Company, a
Decatur, Illinoisstarch manufacturer, as a company representative, player on the company-sponsored baseball team, and player-coach of the company-sponsored football team, Halas selected his alma mater's colors — orange and navy blue — for the team's uniforms. In 1920, Halas represented the Staleys at the meeting which formed the American Professional Football Association (which became the NFL in 1922) in Canton, Ohio.
After suffering financial losses despite a 10-1-2 record, company founder and namesake Augustus E. Staley turned control of the team to Halas in 1921. Halas moved the team to
Chicagoand took on teammate Dutch Sternaman as a partner. The newly minted "Chicago Staleys" won the NFL championship that year. They took the name Bears in 1922 as a tribute to baseball's Chicago Cubs, who permitted the Bears to play their games at Wrigley Field.
Halas not only played end (wide receiver on offense, defensive end on defense) but also handled ticket sales and the business of running the club; lore says he even sold tickets before the game. All of that perhaps not being enough to do, Halas also coached the team. Named to the NFL's all-pro team in the 1920s, his playing highlight occurred in a 1923 game when he stripped
Jim Thorpeof the ball, recovered the fumble, and returned it 98 yards — a league record which would stand until 1972. In 1925, Halas persuaded Illinois star player Red Grangeto join the Bears; it was a significant step in establishing both the respectability and popularity of the league, which had previously been viewed as a refuge for less admirable players.
After ten seasons, Halas stepped back from the game in 1930, retiring as a player and leaving the sidelines as coach; but he remained the owner of the club, becoming sole owner in 1932. The lure of the field was too much, however, as Halas returned in 1933 to coach the Bears for another ten seasons. During his absence from coaching, the team had also won the 1932 championship. His 1934 team was undefeated until a loss in the championship game to the
New York Giants.
In the late 1930s, Halas — with
University of Chicagocoach Clark Shaughnessy— perfected the T-formationsystem to create a revolutionary and overwhelming style of play which drove the Bears to an astonishing 73-0 victory over the Washington Redskinsin the 1940 NFL Championship Game. Every other team in the league immediately began trying to imitate the format. The Bears repeated as NFL champions in 1941, and the 1940s would be remembered as the era of the "Monsters of the Midway."
Halas and Shaughnessy had created a revolutionary concept with the T-formation offense. The complex spins, turns, fakes, and all around athletic versatility required to execute the scheme, limited the possible players available. Halas recruited Columbia University quarterback
Sid Luckmanin 1939. Luckman launched his Hall of Fame career, playing the position from 1939 to 1950. Halas was not satisfied with other players who succeeded Luckman. During this coaching stint, he had on the Bears roster two future Hall of Fame players, Bobby Laynein 1948 and George Blandafrom 1949 to 1958. Other notable players included Heisman Trophywinner Johnny Lujackfrom 1948 to 1951 and Zeke Bratkowskifrom 1954 to 1960. Blanda played in the NFL until 1975; Bratkowski moved on to Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packersfrom 1960 to 1971; and Bobby Layne quarterbacked the Detroit Lionsto three NFL championship games between 1952-54, winning two.
Halas went on a second three-year hiatus during
World War II, serving in the Armed Forces from 1943-45, while the Bears won another title in 1943. Returning to the field in 1946, he coached the club for a third decade, again winning a title in his first year back as coach. After a brief break in 1956-57, he resumed the controls of the club for a final decade from 1958 to 1967, winning his last championship in 1963. He did not, however, enjoy the same success as he had before the war. He did win his 200th game in 1950 and his 300th game in 1965, becoming the first coach to reach both milestones. In 40 years as a coach, he endured only six losing seasons.
After the 1967 season, Halas — then the oldest coach in league history — retired as coach. He continued as the team's principal owner, and took an active role in team operations until his death. He was honored in 1970 and 1980 as the only person involved in the league throughout its first fifty and sixty years of existence. His son George, Jr. served as president of the Bears from 1963 until his sudden death at age 54 in 1979. One of Halas's final significant ownership acts was to hire
Mike Ditkaas head coach in 1982 (Ditka was a former Halas player in the 1960's).
In the 1971 made-for-television film "
Brian's Song", about the friendship between Chicago Bears players Brian Piccoloand Gale Sayers, Halas was portrayed by Jack Warden, who won an Emmy Awardfor his performance.
Halas died of
pancreatic cancerin Chicago on October 31 1983at age 88, and is entombed in St. Adalbert Catholic Cemetery in Niles, Illinois. His eldest daughter, Virginia Halas McCaskey, succeeded him as majority owner (even though her sons run the team's day-to-day operations). In the 1985 season when the Bears won their first ever Super Bowl, they recorded a song called " Super Bowl Shuffle." In the song, backup quarterback Steve Fuller states "This is for Mike [then current coach Mike Ditka] and Papa Bear Halas."
Impact on football
Halas played an integral part in the segregation of the league in the 1930s by refusing to sign black players for the Bears.
Fritz Pollard, who in the 1920s was the league's first African-American coach, blamed Halas for keeping him out of the league in the 1930s and 1940s. Halas eventually changed course and helped to integrate the league, drafting the NFL's first black player since 1933, George Taliaferro, although Taliaferro did not play for the Bears; Halas later signed Willie Thrower, who with the Bears became the league's first black quarterback. A pioneer both on and off the field, Halas made the Bears the first team to hold daily practice sessions, to analyze filmof opponents to find weaknesses and means of attack, place assistant coaches in the press box during games, and to broadcast games by radio. He also offered to share the team's substantial televisionincome with teams in smaller cities, firmly believing that what was good for the league would ultimately benefit his own team. A firm disciplinarian, Halas maintained complete control of his team and did not tolerate disobedience and insubordination by players. He also insisted on absolute integrity and honesty in management, believing that a handshake was sufficient to finalize a deal; few, if any, intermediaries were necessary.
George Halas' career ledger reads as follows: 63 years as an owner, 40 as a coach, 324 wins, and 8 NFL titles as a coach or owner. He was a charter member of the
Pro Football Hall of Famein 1963; the Hall of Fame is appropriately located on George Halas Drive. The NFC championship trophy also bears his name. In both 1963 and 1965 he was selected by " The Sporting News", the AP and the UPI as the NFL Coach of the Year. In 1997 he was featured on a U.S. postage stamp as one of the legendary coaches of football. He has been recognized by ESPNas one of the ten most influential people in sports in the 20th century, and as one of the greatest coaches. In 1993, Miami Dolphinscoach Don Shulafinally surpassed Halas' victory total. To this day, the jerseys of the Chicago Bears bear the initials "GSH" on their left sleeves in tribute to Halas.
* [http://www.profootballhof.com/hof/member.jsp?PLAYER_ID=85 Pro Football Hall of Fame]
* [http://www.manlyweb.com/realmen/sports/georgehalashof.htm Bust at the Hall of Fame]
* [http://www.pro-football-reference.com/coaches/HalaGe0.htm Coaching record at Pro-Football-Reference.com]
* [http://www.bearshistory.com/lore/georgehalas.aspx Biography at www.bearshistory.com]
*Baseballstats |mlb= |espn= |br=h/halasge01 |fangraphs=1005216 |cube=H/george-halas
* [http://www.rosebowllegends.org/george-halas.php George Halas ] Profile at Rosebowl Legends
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
George Halas — Pete Rozelle (izquierda) y George Halas (derecha) a principios de los 80s Posición(s): Dueño Entrenador en jefe End … Wikipedia Español
George Halas — (rechts) mit Pete Rozelle … Deutsch Wikipedia
George Halas, Jr. — George Stanley Halas, Jr. (September 4 1925 December 16 1979), nicknamed Mugs, was one of four presidents in the history of the Chicago Bears franchise of the National Football League. He was the son of George Halas, who was a former player, head … Wikipedia
George Halas — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Halas. George Halas … Wikipédia en Français
George Halas (disambiguation) — George Halas may refer to:*George Halas (1895 1983) American football player, coach and owner *George Halas, Jr. (1925 1979), president of the Chicago Bears franchise of the NFL … Wikipedia
George Musso — Position(en): OT, G Trikotnummer(n): 16 geboren am 8. April 1910 in Collinsville, Illinois gestorben am 5. September 2000 in Edwardsville, Ilinois Karriereinformationen … Deutsch Wikipedia
George Blanda — Position(en): Quarterback, Kicker Trikotnummer(n): 64, 22, 16 geboren am 17. September 1927 in Youngwood, Pennsylvania … Deutsch Wikipedia
George Allen — en su puesto como asesor durante la Administración de Ronald Reagan Posición(s): Entrenador en jefe … Wikipedia Español
George Connor (Footballspieler) — George Connor Position(en): LB/OT Trikotnummer(n): 71/81 geboren am 21. Januar 1925 in Chicago, Illinois gestorben am 31. März 2003, ebenda Karriereinformationen … Deutsch Wikipedia
Halas — may refer to:*George Halas, American player, coach, owner and pioneer in professional football, and longtime leader of the NFL s Chicago Bears *George Halas, Jr., president of the NFL s Chicago Bears *František Halas, poet, essayist, and… … Wikipedia