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Jack Karwales

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Jack Karwales

Jack Karwales
No. 72     Michigan Wolverines
Jack Karwales, 1942
Date of birth: (1920-06-22)June 22, 1920
Place of birth: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Date of death: December 31, 2004(2004-12-31) (aged 84)
Place of death: Chicago, Illinois, United States
Career information
Position(s): End/Tackle
Height: 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight: 190 lb (86 kg)
College: Michigan
High school: Harrison Technical High School, Chicago, Illinois
As player:
Chicago Bears
Chicago Cardinals

John Joseph "Jack" Karwales (June 22, 1920 – December 31, 2004) was a U.S. American football player. He played at the end and tackle positions for the University of Michigan in 1941 and 1942. Following four years of service in the United States Army Air Forces during and after World War II, he played professional football for the Chicago Bears in 1946 and for the Chicago Cardinals in 1947.

Early years

Karwales was the son of Felix Karwales, Sr., and Mary (née Shemky) Karwales. He was born in 1920 on the West Side of Chicago, Illinois, and attended Harrison Technical High School in Chicago.[1]

University of Michigan

In 1939, Karwales enrolled at the University of Michigan. He played football at the end position (some at the tackle position in 1942) for Fritz Crisler's Michigan Wolverines football team from 1941 to 1942.[2][3] Karwales had been expected to play for the 1940 team,[4] but a knee injury sidelined him for the season.[5] In September 1941, Karwales' debut was again delayed due to swelling in his feet that led doctors to "relegate him to a hospital cot for treatment."[5][6] He played for the 1941 Michigan team that finished 6-1-1 and ranked No. 5 in the final AP poll,[2] and for the 1942 Michigan team that finished 7-3 and ranked No. 9 in the final AP poll.[3]

In August 1943, Karwales played for the College All-Star team that defeated the NFL champion Washington Redskins in the College All-Star Game.[7]

World War II

In 1943, Karwales entered the United States Army Air Forces where he served for almost four years during an after World War II.[8][9] He served in the Pacific theater,[1] and also played football with the Third Air Force team in 1944.[8]

Professional football

In June 1946, Karwales was signed by Chicago Bears.[10][11] He joined the Bears in August 1946 for their summer training camp in Collegeville, Indiana.[12] According to some sources, Karwales played at the end position for the 1946 Chicago Bears team that won the NFL championship.[1][13] Other sources do not list Karwales among the regular season roster of the 1946 Bears.[14] A Chicago Daily Tribune article from September 1947 reported that Karwales had played with the Akron Bears in 1946.[15]

Karwales participated in training camp and pre-season for the Bears in the summer of 1947. He was released by the Bears on September 22, 1947, prior to the first game of the regular season.[15]

Karwales signed with the Chicago Cardinals on October 1, 1947.[16] He played for the 1947 Cardinals team that compiled a 9-3-0 record and finished 1st in NFL West Division.[17][18]

Later years and family

Karwales was hampered as a football player by bad knees and retired as a football player in 1948.[1] He coached football at St. Louis University football for three years.[1] He was an assistant coach for the Saint Louis Billikens under head coach Joe Maniaci.[19]

Karwales was married to Virginia Kailer. They had two daughters, Cathy O'Hara and Jill Fink.[1] His brother, Felix Karwales, Jr., was a rookie pitcher for the Cleveland Indians in 1940 before being inducted into the U.S. Army. Felix was injured in action in Germany in February 1945 and died in October 1949.[20]

Karwales became a co-owner of the Kailer-Youngquist Oldsmobile dealership in Chicago.[1] The dealership was started by his father-in-law, Louis G. Kailer, who died on January 12, 1956.[21] He later owned an Oldsmobile dealership named Karwales Olds, inc. located in Wheaton, IL.

Karwales was a resident of Evanston, Illinois for approximately 50 years.[22] He retired in 1983, and his wife died in January 1993.[23]

Karwales died on December 31, 2004 at the Bethany Retirement Community in Chicago. His funeral mass was held at St. Catherine Laboure Catholic Church in Glenview, Illinois.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "JOHN JOSEPH KARWALES, 84". Chicago Tribune. January 5, 2005. ("He was on the Bears team that won the 1946 championship and the Cardinals team that won the title the next season.")
  2. ^ a b "1941 Football Team". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library. 
  3. ^ a b "1942 Football Team". University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library. 
  4. ^ "Crisler Issues Call To U. Of M. Gridders". The News-Palladium, Benton Harbor, Michigan (AP story). August 27, 1940. ("Among the ends are Ed Frutig, River Rouge; Joe Rogers, Plymouth, and Ed Czak, Elyria, O., letter winners; Harlan Fraumann, Pontiac, and sophomores John Karwales and Rudolph Smeja, Chicago.")
  5. ^ a b "Michigan End to Get Late Start". Wisconsin State Journal. September 17, 1941. 
  6. ^ "Michigan's Karwales Hurt; Sophs Push Seniors at N. U.". Chicago Daily Tribune. September 17, 1941. 
  7. ^ "50,000 See All-Stars Defeat Redskins; COLLEGIANS TOPPLE WASHINGTON, 27 TO 7". The New York Times. August 26, 1943. 
  8. ^ a b "Bears Sign Karwales, Ex-Michigan Grid Star". Wisconsin State Journal (UP story). June 18, 1946. 
  9. ^ "Obituary: John Joseph Karwales". Evanston Review. January 13, 2005. 
  10. ^ "Karwales Signs With Bears". The New York Times. June 18, 1946. 
  11. ^ "Bears Sign Karwales". The Christian Science Monitor. June 22, 1946. 
  12. ^ "54 Bears Begin Training in Indiana Camp". Chicago Daily Tribune. August 6, 1946. 
  13. ^ "All-Time Roster Chicago Bears". Chicago Bears. 
  14. ^ "1946 Chicago Bears". 
  15. ^ a b Edward Prell (September 23, 1947). "GREEN BAY AND BUFFALO GAMES TOP PRO LISTS". Chicago Daily Tribune. ("The Bears yesterday asked waivers on Jack Karwales, and end ... Karwales, former University of Michigan player, was with the Akron Bears last year.")
  16. ^ Harry Warren (October 2, 1947). "CARDS WARNED: BEARS 'UP' FOR SUNDAY'S GAME". Chicago Daily Tribune. 
  17. ^ "Jack Karwales". 
  18. ^ "1947 Chicago Cardinals". 
  19. ^ David Condon (October 9, 1952). "Brosky Gets Lonely; Finds Friendly Football at Illinois". Chicago Daily Tribune. 
  20. ^ "Felix Karwales, Jr.". Chicago Daily News. October 16, 1949. 
  21. ^ "Louis G. Kailer". Chicago Daily Tribune. January 1956. 
  22. ^ "Obituary: John Joseph Karwales". Skokie Review. January 15, 2005. 
  23. ^ "Virginia L. Karwales". Chicago Tribune. January 15, 1993. 
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