H I C A G O
R I B U T E
Of Bohemian parentage,
George Halas was born on
Chicagos West Side. A star athlete in school,
he began his professional sports career in baseball,
as an outfielder for the New York Yankees. His
baseball career ended prematurely when he
suffered a knee injury sliding into third base.
Turning to football, Halas played and coached for
the Decatur Staleys in Decatur, Illinois. By 1921,
he owned the team and moved it to Chicago, renaming it the Chicago Bears
after one season.
Halas guided the Bears
to six world championships1921, 1933, 1940, 1941, 1946, and 1963and
two perfect seasons. Halas lived at 4356 West Washington Boulevard in 1922,
when he founded the Bears.
A founder of the National
Football League, Halas advocated rule changes that encouraged the passing
game, and he introduced the T-formation. Halas left a legacy of defense-oriented
football suited to Chicagos gritty civic image.
Some of the Bears
finest athletes played for Halas, including Harold Red Grange,
Dick Butkus, Gale Sayers, Mike Ditka and Bronko Nagurski.