Allen Davis was an American football coach and executive. He was the principal owner and general manager of the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League for 39 years, from 1972 until his death in 2011. Davis was active in civil rights, refusing to allow the Raiders to play in any city where black and white players had to stay in separate hotels. He won three Super Bowl titles with the Raiders during the 1970s and 1980s.
About Al Davis in brief
Allen Davis was an American football coach and executive. He was the principal owner and general manager of the Oakland Raiders of the National Football League for 39 years, from 1972 until his death in 2011. Davis was active in civil rights, refusing to allow the Raiders to play in any city where black and white players had to stay in separate hotels. He remains the only executive in NFL history to be an assistant coach, head coach, general manager, commissioner, and owner. Davis’ father, Louis Davis, worked in a variety of trades in Massachusetts; having found some success in the garment manufacturing field, he moved to Brooklyn, New York, in 1934 with his wife, Rose, and two sons, Jerry and Allen. Despite Davis’s slight role on his high school team, Raiders media guides later published descriptions of Davis which depicted him as a schoolboy star, only to have the claims scaled back—slightly—in future editions after reporters investigated the matter. His lack of football playing experience made him one of the few to be a head coach in the NFL or AFL despite never having played even for the high-school varsity. Davis graduated from high school in January 1947, immediately enrolling at Wittenberg College in Springfield, Ohio at age 17. He spent a semester there, occupying himself with baseball and plans to transfer to a higher-profile school. In 1952, he received a call from the president of Hofstra University that he had a new football coach, but a half hour later he was dismissed from his job.
Davis also served as the commissioner of the AFL in 1966, and was the first NFL owner to hire an African American head coach and a female chief executive, as well as the second NFL head coach to hire a Latino head coach. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1992. He died in 2011 at the age of 80. He is survived by his wife and three children. His son, Jerry, and daughter-in-law, Lisa Davis, are both active members of the New York City Marathon Association. Davis is buried at Mount Sinai Cemetery in New York; his daughter, Lisa, is a member of the Syracuse University women’s basketball team. The couple had a son, Michael Davis, who played for the Syracuse football team in the 1960s and 1970s, and a daughter, Jennifer Davis. Davis died of cancer in 2011; he was buried at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY. He had no children of his own, but had two step-daughters, Lisa and Jennifer. He also had a step-son, David Davis, and an adopted son, David, who is now a college football coach in New Jersey. Davis had a great deal of success as a football coach. He won three Super Bowl titles with the Raiders during the 1970s and 1980s. His motto was ‘Just win, baby’, and the Raiders were perennial playoff contenders and won two Super Bowls in the ’70s and ’79.