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Red Grange's Death

Red Grange

The life and death of Red Grange:

This legendary running back, nicknamed "The Galloping Ghost", was one of the pioneering stars of the National Football League as a member of the Chicago Bears. After his playing days, he remained in the public eye as a sportscaster.

Harold Edward Grange was born in Forksville, Pennsylvania. Lumber was the big local business and his father was the foreman of three lumber camps. When the family moved to Wheaton, Illinois Papa Grange became police chief and his son Harold excelled in high school sports, including football, baseball, basketball and track.

Red Grange high school photo

And Harold kept it going as a student at the University of Illinois.

Red Grange at the University of Illinois

An October, 1924 game against the University of Michigan propelled him to national fame, thanks to a story written by legendary sportswriter Grantland Rice. But it was Chicago sportswriter who nicknamed Red "The Galloping Ghost".

His number 77 was retired by the University of Illinois after Red graduated and moved on to the NFL. He signed with the Chicago Bears and was the pre-eminent running back of his day.

Red briefly left the Bears in a contract dispute and formed the New York Yankees football team of the 1920's version of the American Football League. But the AFL couldn't compete with the NFL and was disbanded…and Red rejoined the Bears.

He was a major celebrity in his day.

Red Grange on cover of TIME Magazine

Red even had a candy bar named after him.

Red Grange candy bar

Red retired from the NFL in 1934 and moved on to work as a motivational speaker…

Red also worked as a sportscaster.

Red Grange working as a sportscaster

He's pictured here with Lindsay Nelson, his broadcast partner on the NCAA Game of the Week, in 1955.

Red Grange with Lindsay Nelson, 1955

Red and his wife Margaret married in 1941 and were together a half century until his death in 1991.

Red Grange with his wife

They had no children although Red had a daughter, Rosemary, from a previous relationship.

Red Grange developed Parkinson's Disease and died a year later in Lake Wales, Flordia. Grange was cremated with his ashes given to loved ones.

He's honored with a statue outside the University of Illinois football Stadium

Red Grange statue

And to football fans, he'll always remain "The Galloping Ghost".

Red Grange