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Eleven Football Stars Elected to New Professional Hall of Fame

Jan. 29, 1963 - Eleven football stars of bygone days and six officials who helped build the game up to its current stature became the first members of the National Professional Football Hall of Fame today. Red Grange (pictured in New York City in 1934), Jim Thorpe, Bronko Nagurski, and Sammy Baugh headed the players selected, all unanimously by a national board. Also honored were Earl (Dutch) Clark, Johnny (Blood) McNally, and Ernie Nevers, all backs; Mel Hein, a center; Pete (Fats) Henry and Cal Hubbard, tackles; and Don Hutson, an end. The six officials named were Bert Bell and Joe Carr, both former NFL commissioners; George Halas, founder of the Chicago Bears; Curly Lambeau, founder of the Green Bay Packers; Tim Mara, founder of the New York Giants; and George Preston Marshall, founder of the Washington Redskins. All 17 will be enshrined in the hall now under construction in Canton, Ohio, where the NFL was founded on Sept. 17, 1920. Five of those honored are deceased: Bell, Carr, Henry, Mara, and Thorpe. “These are the milestone men of pro football,” declared Dick McGann, director of the hall. “Their deeds and dogged faith wrote the history of this great game.”

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