Halas, George "Papa Bear" (1895-1983)

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Halas, George "Papa Bear" (1895-1983)

George Stanley Halas was "Papa Bear" to almost anyone familiar with the Chicago Bears football team … and rightly so. For 61 years Halas was affiliated with the Bears in one capacity or another—he named the Bears, played for the Bears, coached the Bears, and owned the Bears. At the time of his retirement as a coach in 1968, he had compiled the best coaching record in the history of professional football, with 326 wins, 150 losses, and 31 ties. Halas's teams became known as the "Monsters of the Midway," winning 11 championships, primarily for their physical brand of football. His greatest moment probably came in the 1940 championship game when his underdog Bears crushed the Washington Redskins, 73-0. From 1970 until his death, Halas served as the first president of the National Football Conference.

—Lloyd Chiasson, Jr.

Further Reading:

Carroll, Bob. Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. New York, Harper Collins, 1997.

Mausser, Wayne. Chicago Bears, Facts and Trivia. Wautoma, Wisconsin, E. B. Houchin, 1995.

Vass, George. George Halas and the Chicago Bears. Chicago, Regnery Press, 1971.

Whittingham, Richard. Bears: A Seventy-Five-Year Celebration. Rochester, Minnesota, Taylor Publishing, 1994.

——. The Bears in Their Own Words: Chicago Bear Greats Talk About the Team, the Game, the Coaches, and the Times of Their Lives. Chicago, Contemporary Books, 1991.

——. The Chicago Bears: An Illustrated History. Chicago, Rand McNally, 1979.