The first truly comprehensive biography on George Halas, the father of professional football
The founder of the National Football League and father of the Chicago Bears, George Halas single-handedly changed the way Americans spend their Sundays. Papa Bear tells the incredible story of how one man grabbed an outlaw game by the throat, shook it up, and made it into the richest and most popular spectator sport on the planet.
Nearly 20 years after his death, Halas remains one of the towering figures of professional sports--rivaling the legendary Vince Lombardi--yet there has never been an authoritative biography published about this great American success story. At last, Papa Bear fills that gap. Written with unprecedented access to Halas's family, his closest friends, and associates, this thoroughly researched account includes exclusive interviews and a treasure trove of never-published archival materials on the Hall of Famer and his enduring legacy.
Halas was the longtime owner of the Chicago Bears and one of the driving forces behind the creation and growth of the NFL. He was an innovator both on and off the field, and his influence can still be felt in professional football, even 21 years after his death. While many football fans are familiar with the story about how Halas and some associates founded the league in 1920 in a Canton, Ohio, automobile dealership, far fewer are aware of the growing pains the NFL endured in its early years. In his laudatory look at Halas, Davis, a Chicago journalist, provides plenty of little-known details about the formative days of both the NFL and the Bears, offering profiles of players and explanations of Halas's coaching style and business strategy. His in-depth reporting, however, is the biography's strength and weakness. Bear fans who can't get enough of the early history of the team will revel in the many game accounts, but more casual fans may find the narrative slowed by such details, particularly in the book's final portion, where Davis extends the story of the Bears to 2003 and expresses his skepticism about the team's current owners.