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Encyclopedia > Bert Bell

Bert Bell (1895-1959) was co-founder (with Lud Wray) of the Frankford Yellowjackets in 1924 (whose name was changed to the Philadelphia Eagles in 1933), and commissioner of the National Football League from 1946 until his death. He was responsible for creating the NFL amateur draft. As NFL commissioner, he merged the NFL with the All-America Football Conference, and single-handedly plotted out league schedules each season on his dining-room table using a giant checkerboard. He died of a heart attack on October 11, 1959 at Philadelphia's Franklin Field, where he was watching a game between the team he co-founded, the Eagles, and the Pittsburgh Steelers, which he briefly co-owned during World War II, when, in part owing to a wartime manpower shortage, the two teams were temporarily merged into the "Pennsylvania Steagles" (officially known as "Phil-Pitt").


He coined the phrase, "On any given Sunday, any team can beat any other team." The Bert Bell Benefit Bowl, coloquially referred to as the Playoff Bowl and first played in 1960 (the year after Bell's death), was named for him.



Preceded by:
Elmer Layden
NFL Commissioners Succeeded by:
Austin Gunsel (interim)







  Results from FactBites:
 
Bert Bell (1946-1959) (774 words)
In 1918, Bell served in France with the 20th General Field Hospital, a mobile unit that had been formed at Penn. He was cited by the United States and France for bravery at the mobile unit which, at times, was under constant shelling by the Germans.
That's one reason Bert Bell probably happened to be in the end zone stands at Franklin Field in Philadelphia when he died.
Bell, the 64-year-old Commissioner of the National Football League, suffered a fatal heart attack, proving once again that irony and destiny are not always strange bedfellows.
Bert Bell: Information from Answers.com (745 words)
DeBenneville (Bert) Bell (February 25, 1895 - October 11, 1959) was co-founder of the Philadelphia Eagles, co-owner and coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers and commissioner of the National Football League from 1946 until his death.
Bell died of a heart attack on October 11, 1959 at Philadelphia's Franklin Field, while watching a game between the team he co-founded, the Eagles, and the Steelers, which he had co-owned from 1941 to 1946.
The Bert Bell Benefit Bowl, informally referred to as the Playoff Bowl and first played in 1960 (the year after his death), was named for him.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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