"Nothing is work unless you'd rather be doing something else."--George Halas

b.1895 d.1983
The man commonly credited with founding the National Football League. Halas was player/coach of the Decatur Staleys in 1920 during their first season. The next year he assumed ownership and moved the team to Chicago as the Chicago Staleys. In 1922 he renamed them the Chicago Bears -- where they still are today.

Halas coached for 40 seasons, compiling a record of 324 wins, 142 losses and 31 ties. He won 7 league titles and was twice named coach of the year. He briefly retired in the early 1930's, again during World War II, and during 1956 -57 seasons. He finally retired from coaching for good in 1968 at the age of 73. Halas' longtime association with the Bears earned him the nickname of Papa Bear.

As well as being a cofounder of the NFL, Halas is credited with greatly increasing its popularity -- chiefly by signing college star Red Grange to a professional contract in 1925. Halas took his Bears featuring Grange, known as the Galloping Ghost, on a barnstorming tour of America. Halas also implemented the man-in-motion offense during the 1930's -- a staple of today's football sets at virtually every level of play.

Halas was a two-sport star at the University of Illinois. He was MVP of the 1919 Rose Bowl. He played eleven seasons of professional football for the Bears and played one season of major league baseball -- appearing in 12 games for the New York Yankees in 1919.

Halas was part of the inaugural 1963 class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was honored in 1997 by having his picture placed on a United States Postal Service stamp. The George S. Halas Award is given annually by the Pro Football Writers of America to a player who displays courage and toughness under adverse conditions.

Halas had two children, George Halas Jr.-- who died four years before his father -- and Virginia McCaskey. Halas left controlling interest in the Bears to his daughter.

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