Curly Lambeau Biography, Life, Interesting Facts
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Curly Lambeau was born Earl Louis Lambeau on the 9 April 1898 to Mary Sara La Tour and Marcelin Lambeau in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Curly Lambeau graduated from Green Bay East High School. He then enrolled at the University of Notre Dame. After falling ill with appendicitis, he left without obtaining a degree.
Rise to Fame
Curly Lambeau returned home to Green Bay in 1919 and worked for the Indian Packing Company, a meat-packing plant. The same year, he organised a local football team with George Calhoun, the sports editor of a local newspaper. The Indian Packing Company provided sponsorship for the team, and they began playing football games against teams from other small towns in Michigan and Wisconsin. After the Acme Packing Company absorbed the Indian Packing Company, the team name changed to the Acme Packers.
Lambeau convinced the Acme Packing Company to pay $50.00 to purchase the Packers a franchise in the American Professional Football Association. For various reasons, the team was forfeited. Lambeau repurchased it by paying a $250 franchise fee, using $50.00 from his pocket (1922). A group of local businesses then purchased stock, and the Packers became a nonprofit organisation, the Green Bay Football Corporation (1923). Lambeau was a standout player (1919-1929) and is credited with pioneering the forward pass in professional football.
Curly Lambeau coached the Packers as an NFL team (1921-1949). Under his coaching, he took the Packers to six NFL championships (1929, 1930, 1931, 1936, 1939 and 1944). His record as a head coach stands at 209-104-21, with a playoff record of 3-2. Six players coached by Lambeau went on to be listed in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Lambeau bought Rockwood Lodge in 1945 and developed a training facility. The Packers’ board of directors did not approve of the purchase and were also unhappy with the plan to take over the organisation and turn it into a for-profit company. It was mainly because of this that Lambeau resigned in late January 1950. After the Packers, Lambeau coached the Chicago Cardinals (1950-1951) and then spent two years with the Washington Redskins (1952-1953). He coached for 33 years, and his record stands at 229-134-22.
Awards and Achievements
Curly Lambeau was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963. After his death, the Packers stadium was renamed Lambeau Field in Green Bay. Outside the main plaza at Lambeau Field Atrium, there is a bronze statue of Lambeau.
In 1919, Curly Lambeau married his high school girlfriend, Marguerite Van Kessel. They had one child, a son John (b.1920). The couple divorced in 1934. Lambeau married Sue Johnson, a former Miss California(m.1935 - div.1940) and then Grace Garland (m.1945 - div.1955).