These highly-successful guys had at least one thing in common

Because of my well-known proclivity in areas like this you will immediately know the answer to this question.  What do the following men have in common? (Hint: Cheer, cheer for old …)

1.  The inventor of the teleprompter.

2. The inventor of the modern electric blanket.

3. The inventor of one of the first economy autos, who also scored the first TD for a storied College FB program.

4. The man who was second to Jim Thorpe in the decathlon after the first seven events and fifth after the first nine, in the 1912 Olympics.

5.  One of the largest U.S. record holding swimmers, a three-time Olympian, and a member of two sports Halls of Fame.

6. The founder of the Golden Gloves and the Baseball All-Star Game.

7.  The inventor of the batting tee (another guy got the patent on it), who used Ted Williams in a movie on how to use it.

8.  Adlai Stevenson’s Lieutenant Governor when Stevenson was Governor of Illinois.

9.  The producer of the award-winning movie, “The Sting.”

10.  The Kangaroo Kicker, one of the greatest college football players of his generation, later coached AND played against (!) what team during the same College Football season.

11.  The first man to defeat Joe Louis in the ring.

12.  When his college held a golf tournament, he beat Billy Casper.

13.  Jim Jacoby, and his dad Oswald, were two of the greatest bridge players of all time, with bidding conventions named after them, but when Jim’s college held a campus-wide bridge tournament, Jim and his partner did not win the tournament. What college?

14. What college did University of Chicago football player later move to, where he would become the “father” of that school’s football program and then become the “father” of Mother’s Day?

Thanks for Wikipedia for their assistance with some of this information.

1.     Hubert Joseph Schlafly Jr.  Schlafly was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on August 14, 1919. He often moved as a child as his father moved around as a wildcatter. He graduated from St. Louis University High School and later earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1941.

During the 1950s, Schlafly invented the teleprompter, which scrolls text to on-camera talent, in order to help a soap opera actor who could not remember their lines. Schlafly unveiled the teleprompter on the set of the CBS soap opera, The First Hundred Years, in 1950.

Schlafly and Irving B. Kahn also co-founded the TelePrompTer Corporation, which grew to become the largest cable television provider in the United States by 1973. They later sold the company to Westinghouse.[1]

In addition to the teleprompter, Schlafly is also credited with helping to promote the broadcasting of television signals via a satellite feed. Schlafly and Sidney Topol, who worked for Scientific Atlanta, jointly constructed a portable satellite receiver to obtain satellite signals specifically for television. He first demonstrated the satellite television technology in 1973, when Speaker of the House Carl Albert was able to speak at a cable television convention in Anaheim, California, from his congressional office in Washington D.C. Schlafly later called the Albert speech via a satellite feed as his greatest contribution to the cable industry.

2.     George Crowley invented the electric blanket. The blanket sprang from Crowley’s work as a Navy engineer assigned to General Electric Co. for World War II technical projects. He developed electrically heated flying suits that enabled pilots to fly comfortably at altitudes above antiaircraft fire, and decided the material could be used in blankets. GE patented his electric blanket and hired him after the war.

Crowley’s work there and for Northern Electric Co. led to about 80 patents for his employers, and at the time of his death he had a patent pending for a device to turn off an overheating blanket. Born in Keansburg, N.J., Crowley began inventing things as a child, devising a system to warn him of parents approaching his third-floor room, to open the dining room door for his mother, and to close curtains when lights were switched on. Crowley studied engineering at the University of Notre Dame.

He also invented devices for painting golf balls, bouncing tennis balls and chasing squirrels away from bird feeders. Often called as a witness in lawsuits involving bedroom fires (most often caused by smoking in bed), Crowley was a staunch believer in the safety of electric blankets and used them all his adult life.

3.     Harry Mulford “Hal” Jewett was a world class athlete for the University of Notre Dame. He was a two-time U.S. national champion and he set the American record for the 220-yard dash in 1891 and in the triple jump in 1890. He also equaled the world record for the 220-yard dash in 1892.

He scored the very first touchdown for Notre Dame football in a game against Michigan on April 20, 1888. Michigan did win the game, 26-6. (It was said that the Wolverine fans in Ann Arbor were upset that the team was scored on by Notre Dame since It was the first time in over four years the team had allowed an opposing team to get a touchdown).  After graduating from college and serving in the Navy during the Spanish-American war, he eventually became the president of the Paige Motor Car Company in Detroit. Paige built a low price model named the Jewett.

4.     George Philbrook was a Notre Dame football star as a tackle.  Great track athlete.  Finished fifth in the shot put and seventh in the discus throw in the 1912 Olympics.  His discus throw in the decathlon was longer than the world record prior to the Olympics.

5.     Harry Hebner was an American competition swimmer and water polo player who competed at the 19081912 and 1920 Summer Olympics.

As part of the American men’s 4×200-meter relay teams, he won a bronze medal in 1908 and a silver medal in 1912. In 1912, he also won the 100-meter backstroke event. In the 100-meter freestyle, he was eliminated in the semi-finals in 1908, and in the first round in 1912. In 1920 he was a member of the fourth-place American water polo team.

Between 1910 and 1917, Hebner held all world backstroke records and won seven consecutive U.S. national backstroke titles. In total, he won 35 national titles in various swimming events. In 1968, he was inducted to the International Swimming Hall of Fame.  In 1980, he was inducted into the USA Water Polo Hall of Fame.  Right after the 1912 Olympics, Notre Dame students began a Woodrow Wilson Club.  Hebner was elected as Vice President; a Norwegian student* was elected as Treasurer.

  *Your readers are too smart not to know his name.  These two men were also stars at Left End for Notre Dame; Rockne (of course) for the varsity and Hebner, as second team “All-Hall,” playing for Corby.

6.     Arch Ward‘s biography is too impressive to list here.  As a start, he was sports editor for the Chicago Tribune and creator of the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, the Golden Gloves amateur boxing tournament, the World Professional Basketball Tournament, the All American Football Conference, and the College Football All-Star Game.  As a student, he assisted Rockne, serving as ND’s first publicity director.

7.     Bert Dunne was a terrific baseball player for ND.  This is an internet review of his book, “Play Ball,” Son:  “I read this precious book after my first year of organized ball, a year filled with grief trying to hit the curve ball. Joe Cronin called it “the best technical book” on baseball. I read and re-read it with care, practiced my stride into the ball and swing. It made a huge difference. It is indeed an enormously beneficial book on how to play — and coach — our national game. I highly recommend it.”

8.     Sherwood Dixon wrote a letter to Steve Boda in 1967, explaining his weight.  He said that he came to ND at 156 pounds, but after two years of eating fattening food, he gained two pounds per year to become what he called “a 160 pound behemoth.”  Near the end of the 1917 season, he was dropped from football team for playing in a semi-pro game.

An  Infantry Lieutenant during WWI, in France and Italy.  Born and died in the town named after his ancestors.  Dixon passed the bar exam, mailed to him, in France, where he was serving in an infantry unit.

  Back at ND, he helped coach the freshman football team in 1919, assisting John Miller.  Attorney and law partner with former ND player Bob Bracken.  Assistant Chairman, State Democratic Committee-1940.  Colonel-WWII, 1941-1946. 

Very active in Illinois Democratic politics, Dixon was a delegate to the 1952 Democratic Convention and an alternate in 1940 and 1956.  In 1948, he was elected Lt. Governor, serving under Adlai Stevenson.  When Stevenson ran for President, Dixon ran for Governor, losing in the Eisenhower landslide.  Dixon, Illinois was the boyhood home of Ronald Reagan, famous for playing George Gipp in the movie “Knute Rockne, All American.”  Sherwood knew Gipp at ND.  The ALUMNUS of May, 1950 reported: “Illinois Lt. Gov. Sherwood Dixon, winner of the Rock River Valley Club’s ‘Man of the Year’ award, was guest speaker. Dixon told 200 club members and guests that ‘the example we set by simple devotion to religion in the home can be more effective for peace than all the propaganda disseminated by those who seek to lead’.” 

Worked as Referee in the Federal Bankruptcy Court in the Northern District of Illinois.  Seven children, with four sons graduating from ND.  Son James, was Mayor of Dixon (1983-1991) when Ronald Reagan returned, in 1984, for a parade and celebration of his 73rd birthday. 

9.     Tony Bill is an American actor, producer, and director. He produced the 1973 movie The Sting, for which he shared the Academy Award for Best Picture with Michael Phillips and Julia Phillips. As an actor, Bill had supporting roles in Come Blow Your Horn (1963), Shampoo (1975), Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985), and Less than Zero (1987). He made his directorial debut with My Bodyguard (1980) and directed movies Six Weeks (1982), Five Corners (1987), Crazy People (1990), Untamed Heart (1993), and Flyboys (2006).

 Bill was born in San Diego, California, and attended St. Augustine High School. He majored in English and art at the University of Notre Dame, from which he graduated in 1962.

10.  Pat O’Dea was an Australian rules and American football player and coach. An Australian by birth, O’Dea played Australian rules football for the Melbourne Football Club in the Victorian Football Association (VFA).  As a 16-year-old he received a bronze medallion from the Royal Humane Society of Australasia for rescuing a woman at Mordialloc beach.

 In 1898 and 1899, O’Dea played American football at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in the United States, where he excelled in the kicking game. He then served as the head football coach at the University of Notre Dame from 1900 to 1901.  Following his Australian Rules and American Football careers, O’Dea deliberately disappeared from the public eye. However, he helped popularize Australian rules football in the United States as a participation sport while working in San Francisco by training schoolchildren in the kicking game.O’Dea was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as a player in 1962.  O’Dea played American football at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he was their star fullback from 1896–1899 and captained the 1898 and 1899 teams. In those days fullbacks punted and often did the placekicking. In the 1898 edition of the Northwestern game, which was played in a blizzard, he drop kicked a 62-yard field goal, and had a 116-yard punt. This earned him the nickname “Kangaroo Kicker.”

11.  Max Marek.  This is from Bob Walsh, ND Class of ’48: He (Marek) was a Polish-American from Chicago who earned a Notre Dame football scholarship in 1933, the same year he beat Joe Louis in the Golden Gloves finals in Boston. He thereafter billed himself as ‘The Man Who Beat Joe Louis.’

  “In the 1930s, Max Marek looked like a young Brando, deeply tanned and muscular, with curly dark-brown hair. One of his Notre Dame roomies was my cousin, Tom Cassidy ‘37, ’38M.A., a slight, bookish but spirited redhead from Long Island, New York. I was only 7 years old when Max Marek visited our family there in the summer of 1934. To this day, seven decades later, I can still vividly recall Max doing road work at Jones Beach on the Atlantic shore of Long Island.

  Back at Notre Dame, Max fought successfully in the school’s traditional amateur Bengal Bouts, which helped finance Catholic missions in Bangladesh. After leaving in 1935 to turn pro, Max took on the likes of veteran Bob Pastor, a respectable contender, and lost a close 1936 decision to John Henry Lewis, the light-heavyweight champ, in Comiskey Park. He rejected Jack Dempsey’s early advice to quit the ring “lest you get your brains scrambled.”

12.   Tom Veech is the ND man who defeated Casper by NINE strokes in a Notre Dame-sponsored golf tournament and would likely have been one of the top pros of the 1950s, but medical issues connected to his very large frame, shortened his golfing career.

  From the Milwaukee Journal obituary:  “Mark Bemowski, a six-time Wisconsin State Amateur champion, has played with and against just about every good golfer the state has produced over the last five decades, from Bobby Brue to Andy North to Steve Stricker.  Veech won the first of his four State Open titles as an 18-year-old amateur. He shot a 59 at North Hills Country Club, with a persimmon driver and a balata golf ball.  He did things with a golf club that left others speechless. 

 “He literally had the best hands the golf world has ever seen,” said Randy Warobick, whose father, the late professional Lou Warobick, was Veech’s best friend. “His control of the golf club was phenomenal.”  Veech spent the 1959 season on the PGA Tour, but two things prevented him from achieving greatness as a touring professional. He didn’t like the lifestyle and he weighed in excess of 300 pounds. He had a hard time walking 72 holes on bad knees, and the insides of his thighs would chafe raw.  “There were many times his legs were bloody after a round of golf.” 

13. Jim Jacoby wrote a bridge column for the SCHOLASTIC, already demonstrating his expertise. Yet he and his partner finished only second in the April, 1956, campus-wide bridge tournament at Notre Dame.  For his second place finish, he earned one master point and won a fountain pen desk set.

14. Frank Hering.  On February 7, 1904, Fraternal Order of Eagles Past Grand Worthy President Frank E. Hering, a former Notre Dame football coach, made a public plea to recognize mother’s everywhere. A decade later, President Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation making Mother’s Day a reality.