Hall of Fame - Inductee Detail

Fritz Pollard

Fritz Pollard


  • Position: Halfback
  • School: Brown
  • High School: Chicago, IL (Lane Technical HS)
  • Years: 1915-1916
  • Inducted: 1954
  • Place of Birth: Chicago, IL
  • Date of Birth: Jan 27, 1894
  • Place of Death: Silver Spring, MD
  • Date of Death: May 11, 1986
  • Height: 5-8
  • Weight: 150

Member Biography

Frederick Douglass Pollard, usually known as "Fritz," was born January 27, 1894, in Chicago and died May 11, 1986, in Silver Spring, Maryland. He played halfback at Brown University and was All-America in 1916. The 1915 Brown team had a 5-4-1 record, including a loss to Washington State in the Rose Bowl. The 1916 Brown team went 8-1. Pollard was the first African American to play in the Rose Bowl. In 1923-25 with the Hammond Pros, he was the first African American to serve as head coach in the National Football League. He was the second African American to be named All-America (the first was Bill Lewis of Harvard 1892-93), and the second African American to be elected to the College Football Hall of Fame (the first was Duke Slater of Iowa). In 1916 he made a 48-yard run against Rutgers, 60-yard run against Yale, runs of 47, 35, 34 against Harvard. His teammate at Brown was Wallace Wade, future Hall of Fame coach. Pollard had a strong family history. His sister Noami in 1905 became the first African American woman to graduate from Northwestern; his brother Leslie was on the 1908 Dartmouth football team. Pollard coached football at Lincoln University and owned coal companies in Harlem and Chicago, operated a movie studio, published a weekly paper in New York, founded the nation's first African American investment company, and operated a booking agency.
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