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Arnold Horween

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Arnold Horween

Arnold Horween
Date of birth: July 7, 1898
Place of birth: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Date of death: August 5, 1985(1985-08-05) (aged 87)
Place of death: Chicago, Illiniois, United States
Career information
Position(s): Fullback, Tailback, Quarterback
College: Harvard
High school: Francis W. Parker
As coach:
Chicago Cardinals
As player:
Racine Cardinals
Chicago Cardinals
Career highlights and awards
Career stats
Playing stats at
Coaching stats at
Military service
Allegiance: United States
Service/branch: United States Navy seal U.S. Navy
Years of service: 1917–19
Rank: Lieutenant
Battles/wars: World War I

Arnold "Arnie" Horween (originally Arnold Horwitz; also known as A. McMahon; July 7, 1898 – August 5, 1985) was a college and professional American football player and coach. He played and coached both for Harvard and in the National Football League (NFL).

Horween played left halfback, right halfback, fullback, and Center (American and Canadian football) for the unbeaten Harvard Crimson football teams of 1919 and 1920, which won the 1920 Rose Bowl Game. He was voted an All American.

He also played four seasons in the NFL, as a fullback, tailback (halfback), and blocking back (quarterback) for the Racine Cardinals and the Chicago Cardinals. He was a player-coach for the Cardinals. Later, he was Harvard's head football coach, from 1925 to 1930.

His brother Ralph Horween was also an All-American football player for Harvard, and also played and coached in the NFL for the Cardinals. They were the last Jewish brothers to play in the NFL until Geoff Schwartz and Mitchell Schwartz, in the 2000s. After retiring from football, Horween and his brother inherited and ran the family leather tannery business, Horween Leather Company.

Early and personal life

Rose Horween, Ralph Horween, Arnold Horween, and Isidore Horween

Horween's parents, Isidore and Rose (Rabinoff), immigrated to Chicago from Ukraine in the Russian Empire in 1892.[1][2][3] During his youth the family changed its name to Horween from its original name, which was either Horwitz or Horowitz.[4][5][6][7] During his playing days at Harvard he was unmasked as having what an angry contemporary called the "nom de Ghetto" of Horwitz.[8]

Horween was Jewish, and was born in Chicago, Illinois.[7][9][10][11][12][13] He was the brother of Ralph Horween, who was two years older.[14] They were the last Jewish brothers to play in the NFL until offensive tackles Geoff Schwartz and Mitchell Schwartz in the 2000s.[15][16]

He played high school football at Center (American and Canadian football) and fullback for four years at Francis W. Parker School. He was captain of the football team in his senior year.[10]

Horween was 5' 11.5" (1.82 m), and weighed 206 pounds (93.4 k).[9][17] In 1928, he married Marion Eisendrath, daughter of leather tycoon William Eisendrath.[18]

College and Navy career

Horween followed his older brother to Harvard University, where they played together on the Harvard Crimson football team, in 1916.[14] In his freshman year, he played both football (as a fullback) and baseball (as a pitcher), and was a member of the track team as a shotputter.[9][10][14]

The next year he enlisted in the United States Navy during World War I, in April 1917.[14][19][20] In October 1917, the Navy had Horween take a special course at Harvard leading to an ensign's officer rank.[14] He was ultimately promoted to the rank of lieutenant, and served in the Atlantic Ocean on a destroyer.[14] He was discharged in 1919, and returned to Harvard.[14]

Horween played left halfback, right halfback, fullback, and center for the Harvard Crimson, and was a First-Team All-American, from 1919 to 1920.[10][12][13][21] In both 1919 and 1920 Harvard was undefeated (9–0–1 and 8–0–1, respectively).[13][22] In 1919, Donald Grant Herring ranked him the Second-Team fullback on the Princeton-Yale-Harvard composite team.[23]

Horween was unanimously elected the Harvard Crimson's first Jewish captain in 1920.[9][10][11][12][13] That year, he kicked a 42-yard (38 m) field goal against Yale in a 9–0 victory, and a 37-yard (34 m) field goal against the Centre Colonels.[14] He was part of the unbeaten 1919 team that won the 1920 Rose Bowl against the Oregon, 7–6, as he kicked the extra point that decided the game, and Harvard relied in part on his running game.[22][22][24][25] It remains the only bowl game appearance in Harvard history.[26]

Harvard's coach called his play "inspiring," and the New York Times wrote:
The way he smashed through the line was considerable... there were even some protests that this dark-haired, sturdily built Crimson fullback was a little too rough.[22]

In 1920 he was selected All-America first team by a number of newspapers, and was chosen Walter Camp third team All-American.[22] He graduated from Harvard in 1921.[27]

NFL career

Horween played fullback, tailback, and blocking back (quarterback) in the National Football League for four years, in 32 games, for the Racine Cardinals (in the American Professional Football Association, the predecessor to the NFL) in 1921 and the Chicago Cardinals (as the Cardinals changed their name) from 1922 to 1924.[17][22][28] He was a player–coach for the Cardinals from 1923 to 1924.[22]

Arnold's brother Ralph Horween, alongside whom he played football at Harvard and in the NFL

In 1922–23, Horween appeared in all 11 games and scored 4 rushing touchdowns as the Cardinals were 8–3–0. In 1923–24, the team was 8–4–0.[22] On October 7, 1923, he and his brother both scored in the same game, as he kicked two extra points and his brother ran for a touchdown as the Cardinals beat the Rochester Jeffersons 60–0 at Normal Park in Chicago.[29] On November 12, 1922, he made a long pass to Paddy Driscoll for the game's only touchdown, in a 7–0 victory over the Akron Pros.[30] On December 2, 1923, they did it again, as he kicked a 35-yard (32 m) field goal and his brother ran for a touchdown as the Cardinals beat the Oorang Indians, 22–19.[29]

His brother Ralph Horween also played for the Chicago Cardinals. Horween and his brother played for the Cardinals under the alias McMahon (he played as A. McMahon) to protect their family's social status.[5][7][30] He kept that name until 1923.[7][30]

Coaching career at Harvard

Horween returned to Harvard as the school's head football coach from 1925 to 1930, compiling a record of 21–17–3.[7] The New York Sun reported:
The boys are for him unreservedly. It is no, secret, however, that Horween's appointment didn't please the Beacon Street-Park Avenue element among the grads. The clique that supported the old regime would prefer to see a Cabot or a Wendell, we use the names as symbols, in the saddle...[22]

He structured the team's approach after the professional game, and appointed the first non-Harvard alumni to the football team's coaching staff.[14] Charlie Devens, who later played baseball for the New York Yankees, recalled that when he played football under Horween at Harvard, when the team faced Michigan in Ann Arbor, anti-Semitic posters were displayed, aimed at Coach Horween.[31]

Horween and his fiancee, who were engaged for some time, had agreed to postpone getting married until Harvard defeated Yale. When Harvard defeated Yale in November 1928, the couple got married days later.[32] He resigned following the 1930 season, despite requests from faculty and students that he remain.[22]

Horween Leather Company

After retiring from football, Horween returned to Chicago in 1930, and he and his brother inherited the family leather tannery business, Horween Leather Company, which had been founded by their father in Chicago in 1905.[33][34] He operated the business, a successful company that supplied (and still supplies) the leather for Wilson's NFL official football, from 1949–84.[3][17][26][34][35][36][37]

In 1945, he coached the football team of his former high school, Francis Parker.[38]

In 1952, he was vice president of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.[39] He also served as a trustee of the Chicago Symphony, and on the Harvard University board of overseers.[17]

See also


  1. ^ Raphael, Sven (March 21, 2012). "Horween Leather Company Chicago". Gentleman's Gazette. Retrieved March 27, 2013. 
  2. ^ Julius Schwartz, Solomon Aaron Kaye, John Simons (1933). Who's who in American Jewry 3. Jewish Biographical Bureau. Retrieved March 23, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b The Sentinel's history of Chicago Jewry, 1911–1961. Sentinel Publishing Co. Chicago. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  4. ^ Charles H. Joseph (1926). 18M. The Jewish Criterion. Retrieved March 25, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b "Ralph Horween" (PDF). Retrieved March 25, 2013. 
  6. ^ Stanley Bernard Frank (1936). The Jew in sports. The Miles Publishing Company. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c d e Gerald R. Gems (2000). For Pride, Profit, and Patriarchy: Football and the Incorporation of American Cultural Values. Scarecrow Press. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  8. ^ Noah J. Efron (2007). Judaism And Science: A Historical Introduction. Greenwood Publishing Group. Retrieved March 25, 2013. 
  9. ^ a b c d Harvard Wins from Oregon 7 to 6. Our Paper – Massachusetts Reformatory (Concord, Mass.). January 3, 1920. Retrieved March 23, 2013. 
  10. ^ a b c d e Arnold Horween Elected. Harvard Alumni Bulletin. September 25, 1919. Retrieved March 23, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b Michael Oriard (2004). King Football: Sport and Spectacle in the Golden Age of Radio and Newsreels, Movies and Magazines, the Weekly & the Daily Press. Univ of North Carolina Press. Retrieved March 23, 2013. 
  12. ^ a b c Murray Greenberg (2008). Passing Game: Benny Friedman and the Transformation of Football. PublicAffairs. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  13. ^ a b c d Jack Cavanaugh (2010). The Gipper: George Gipp, Knute Rockne, and the Dramatic Rise of Notre Dame Football. Skyhorse Publishing. Retrieved March 23, 2013. 
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, Roy Silver (1965). Encyclopedia of Jews in Sports. Bloch Pub. Co. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  15. ^ Gregg Rosenthal (June 19, 2012). "Schwartzes first Jewish brothers in NFL since 1923". Retrieved March 15, 2013. 
  16. ^ Barnathan, Lee (May 2, 2012). "Browns pick Schwartz in NFL draft". Jewish Journal. Retrieved March 15, 2013. 
  17. ^ a b c d John Maxymuk (2012). NFL Head Coaches: A Biographical Dictionary, 1920–2011. McFarland. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Miss Eisendrath Bride of Horween". Boston Globe. November 30, 1928. Retrieved March 23, 2013. 
  19. ^ Frederick Sumner Mead (1921). Harvard's Military Record in the World War. Harvard Alumni Association. Retrieved March 23, 2013. 
  20. ^ Steven A. Riess (1998). Sports and the American Jew. Syracuse University Press. Retrieved March 23, 2013. 
  21. ^ Co-operation. Boston Elevated Railway Company, Metropolitan Transit Authority. 1950. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  22. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Horween, Arnold". Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum. March 3, 2013. Retrieved March 24, 2013. 
  23. ^ Donald Grant Herring (1919). "Football; Princeton 10, Harvard 10". Princeton Alumni Weekly. Retrieved March 21, 2013. 
  24. ^ Mark F. Bernstein (2001). Football: The Ivy League Origins of an American Obsession. University of Pennsylvania Press. Retrieved March 21, 2013. 
  25. ^ The New York Times Biographical Service. New York Times & Arno Press. 1997. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  26. ^ a b "A League First: Former Player Turns 100". New York Times. August 4, 1996. Retrieved March 23, 2013. 
  27. ^ "." 100. Harvard Magazine. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  28. ^ Richard Goldstein (May 29, 1997). "Ralph Horween, 100, the Oldest Ex-N.F.L. Player". New York Times. Retrieved March 19, 2013. 
  29. ^ a b Bob Wechsler (2008). Day by Day in Jewish Sports History. KTAV Publishing House. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  30. ^ a b c Kevin Carroll (2007). Dr. Eddie Anderson, Hall of Fame College Football Coach: A Biography. McFarland. Retrieved March 22, 2013. 
  31. ^ Dick Johnson (2002). Yankees Century: 100 Years of New York Yankees Baseball. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Retrieved March 23, 2013. 
  32. ^ "Horween May Quit Harvard Coaching Job; Holds Confab with Bingham; Arnold to Marry on Thursday". The Pittsburgh Press. November 26, 1928. Retrieved March 23, 2013. 
  33. ^ "Ex-Harvard Grid Coach Dies at 87". The Lewiston Journal. August 7, 1985. Retrieved March 25, 2013. 
  34. ^ a b "Ralph Horween". Chicago Tribune. May 28, 1997. Retrieved March 24, 2013. 
  35. ^ "Horween Leather Company". Gentleman's Gazette. Retrieved March 22, 2012. 
  36. ^ "About « Horween Leather Company". Retrieved March 23, 2013. 
  37. ^ "Deaths; Ralph Horween". Toledo Blade. May 27, 1997. Retrieved March 24, 2013. 
  38. ^ Barbara Rolek (October 27, 2003). "Horween's leather bound by tradition". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved April 19, 2013. 
  39. ^ Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Program notes. 1952. Retrieved March 23, 2013. 

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