Today in Black History 07/22/2015 | Emlen Lewis Tunnell - The Charles H. Wright Museum Blog

Today in Black History 07/22/2015 | Emlen Lewis Tunnell

July 22, 1975 Emlen Lewis Tunnell, the first African American inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, died. Tunnell was born March 29, 1925 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania. After serving two years in the United States Coast Guard during World War II, he played college football at the University of Iowa. He played quarterback, halfback, and on defense and led the team in passing in the 1946 season and receiving in the 1947 season. Tunnell began his professional football career with the New York Giants in 1948, the first African American to play for the team. Tunnell played in the National Football League for 14 seasons and was a nine-time Pro Bowl selection. When he retired in 1961, he held the record for career interceptions with 79. After retiring, Tunnell served as a scout and assistant coach with the Giants. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame August 5, 1967. Tunnell published his autobiography, “Footsteps of a Giant”, in 1966. 

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