George Stanley Halas Sr. was an American professional football player, coach, and team owner. He was the founder, owner, and head coach of the National Football League’s Chicago Bears. Halas was also lesser known as a Major League Baseball player for the New York Yankees. In 1963, Halas became one of the first 17 inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He died of a heart attack in Chicago in 2003, aged 87.
About George Halas in brief
George Stanley Halas Sr. was an American professional football player, coach, and team owner. He was the founder, owner, and head coach of the National Football League’s Chicago Bears. Halas was also lesser known as a Major League Baseball player for the New York Yankees. In 1963, Halas became one of the first 17 inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He also played for the Hammond Pros and the Decatur Staleys before joining the Chicago Bears in 1921. He retired as a player and coach in 1930, but remained the team’s owner until 1932, when he was forced to step down due to financial difficulties. He died of a heart attack in Chicago in 2003, at the age of 87. He is buried in Chicago’s Englewood Memorial Cemetery, next to his wife, Barbara. His son, George Jr., was a professional baseball player and the current owner of the New England Patriots. He had a son, David, who is a professional football coach and a former NFL player. He served as an ensign in the Navy during World War I, and played for a team at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station, and was named the MVP of the 1919 Rose Bowl. He played minor league baseball, eventually earning a promotion to the NY Yankees, where he played 12 games as an outfielder in 1919. In 1923, he was named to the all-pro team in the 1920s, his playing highlight occurred in a 1923 game when he recovered a fumble and returned it 98 yards, a league record which would stand until 1972.
In 1925, he persuaded Illinois star player Red Grange to join the Bears; it was a significant step in establishing the league’s respectability and popularity of the league which had previously been viewed as a refuge for less admirable players. In 1932, he stepped back from coaching duties, handing the coaching duties to Ralph Lake, but he remained the owner, becoming sole owner in 1932. He later sold the Bears to Ralph Jones, who became the coach and player-coach of the Forest Forest Academy. He passed away in 2004, aged 89, at his home in Lake Forest, Illinois, after a long battle with lung cancer. He has been remembered as the “father of the Bears” and “the father of the modern-day Chicago Bears” He was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, and served as the president of the Illinois State Board of Regents. His father, Frank Halas, was a tailor from Pilsen, Austria-Hungary, and his mother, Barbara, was from Czech-Bohemian immigrants. He attended the University of Illinois, playing football for coach Bob Zuppke, as well as baseball and basketball, and earning a degree in civil engineering. He went on to work for the A. E. Staley Company, a starch manufacturer, and the company-sponsored football team. He moved the team to Chicago and took on teammate Dutch Sternaman as a partner. In 1921, the team won the NFL championship. They took the name Bears in 1922.