Halas, George

Halas, George (Stanley) “Papa Bear”

(1895–1983) football player, coach, owner, pioneer; born in Chicago. In 1920 he formed the Decatur (Ill.) Staleys, which was one of the 11 original teams in the newly founded American Professional Football Association. This became the National Football League (NFL) in 1922, the same year Halas moved his team to Chicago and renamed it the Bears. While coaching the team (1920–29) he played end; he returned as coach only for 1933–42, 1946–55 and 1958–68; during all those years the Bears won seven NFL championships and he amassed a league-record 325 coaching wins. He is credited with several innovations that led to modern football and for his sideline histrionics. He was elected to the NFL Hall of Fame in 1963 and he owned the Bears until his death.