- NAME: Fritz Pollard
- OCCUPATION: Coach, Football Player
- BIRTH DATE: January 27, 1894
- DEATH DATE: May 11, 1986
- Did You Know?: Fritz Pollard was the first African-American to play in the Rose Bowl.
- EDUCATION: Brown University
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Chicago, Illinois
- PLACE OF DEATH: Silver Spring, Maryland
- Full Name: Frederick Douglass Pollard Sr.
- AKA: Frederick Pollard Sr.
- AKA: Frederick Douglass Pollard
- AKA: Frederick Pollard
- AKA: Fritz Pollard
Best Known For
American football pioneer Fritz Pollard was one of the professional sport's first African-American players and its first African-American coach.
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During their three-year run from 1929-32, they were among the most popular draws in the sport.
A "gentlemen's agreement" struck by NFL owners in 1933 prevented the signing of more black players. In response, Pollard served as the coach of another high-profile African-American team, the Harlem-based Brown Bombers, from 1935-38.
Fritz was involved in several business enterprises during and after his professional football career. He founded the F.D. Pollard and Co. investment firm in 1922 to serve the African-American community, and in 1935 he founded the New York Independent News, the first black tabloid. Pollard also worked as a casting agent, studio manager and producer in the entertainment industry, as well as a tax consultant.
In 1954, Pollard was the first African-American elected to the National College Football Hall of Fame. He was elected to the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame in 1967, and in 1981 he received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from Brown University. Pollard died on May 11, 1986, at age 92.
In 2005, the football pioneer received a long-overdue honor with his election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. His name lives on through the Fritz Pollard Alliance, which was founded in 2003 to help promote the hiring of minorities in the NFL.
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