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WARD, Arch. (Irwin, IL, Dec. 27, 1896-Chicago, IL, July 9, 1955). After his father died in a railroad accident, Ward and his mother moved to Dubuque. In Dubuque, Ward had Father Daniel Gorman, President of COLUMBIA COLLEGE (now LORAS COLLEGE) as his guardian. Later enrolled at St. Joseph College and Academy, Ward served on the student literary magazine, The Spokesman. He left school to become the first sports editor of the TELEGRAPH HERALD. A graduate of Notre Dame, Ward was that school's first sports publicity director, in 1920. He was sports editor of the Rockford Star, 1921-25, when he joined the Tribune. In 1925 Ward began as a copy editor at the Chicago Tribune and was promoted to sports editor within five years. He served as the paper's sports editor and columnist for 25 years.
Ward was nicknamed the "Cecil B. de Mille of Sports." As sports editor of the Chicago Tribune, Ward was asked to come up with a sports event in connection with the 1933 World's Fair. He knew that July 6 was an open date for both major leagues and suggested an all-star game. American League president Will Harridge supported the idea, but others owners openly opposed it. The Tribune guaranteed expenses, with any profits to go to the Professional Ball Players of America, a charitable organization. Expected to be a one-time event, the game has become an annual institution. The success of this game inspired him to create the Chicago College All-Star Football Game football game for the second year of the World's Fair in 1934. For the next forty-two years the proceeds from the all-star football game aided Chicago Tribune Charities, Inc. The all-star football game continues today in a new format entitled the Pro Bowl. He helped to develop and promote the Golden Gloves. This amateur boxing association developed such boxing legends as Joe Louis, Barney Ross, and Tony Zale. Other promotions included Silver Skates, bowling, and charity horse racing.
Starting in 1930, Ward began writing “In the Wake of the News,” a column he inherited from sports-writing legend Ring Lardner. “In the Wake of the News,” was the oldest continuous sports column written in the United States.
In 1939 and 1940 Ward rejected offers of $250,000 to name him the National Football League Commissioner. He did, however, help form several rival football leagues—most notably the AAFC in the 1940s. He wrote three books—Frank Leaby and the Fighting Irish (1940), The Green Bay Packers (1946), and The New Chicago White Sox (1951). He was elected the first president of the Chicago Press Club.
In 1946 the All-American Conference, a new professional football league, was started by Ward. This league inaugurated pro football in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Baltimore, and Miami. The Cleveland Browns can trace their origins back in part to Arch Ward.
"Arch Ward, Chicago Sports Editor, Dies," The News and Courier (Charleston, South Carolina) July 10, 1955, p. 13A
Baseball Library.com, "Arch Ward," http://www.baseballlibrary.com/ballplayers/player.php?name=Arch_Ward
Chicago Literary Hall of Fame, "Arch Ward," http://www.chicagoliteraryhof.org/PersonDetail.aspx?PersonID=86
Higgins, Joseph, "Arch Ward," http://www.lib.niu.edu/2001/ihy011220.html Illinois Periodicals Online (IPO) is a digital imaging project at the Northern Illinois University Libraries funded by the Illinois State Library
"175 Years" Vol. II Telegraph Herald, p. 99