Alex Kroll

Last updated
Alex Kroll
No. 55
Position: Center
Personal information
Born: (1937-11-23) November 23, 1937 (age 82)
Leechburg, Pennsylvania
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:230 lb (104 kg)
Career information
College: Yale, Rutgers
NFL Draft: 1959  / Round: 27 / Pick: 320
(by the Los Angeles Rams) [1]
AFL draft: 1962  / Round: 2 / Pick: 13
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Alexander Stanley Kroll (born November 23, 1937) is a former professional American football player and a retired advertising agency executive at Young & Rubicam, where he served as CEO for ten years.


Early life and football

Kroll's father worked in one of Leechburg, Pennsylvania's many steel mills. Growing up, Kroll had a large extended family that served as a support network. He was captain of the football team and ranked second in his class academically, Alex chose to attend Yale University on an academic scholarship. He played on Yale's varsity football team, but a physical argument with a young associate professor got Kroll expelled during his sophomore year. [2]

He enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving two years in the military police and finished his undergraduate degree at Rutgers University. While there, he captained the football team and played center on the school's first undefeated football team, making all seven All-American teams in 1961, while leading the team to a 17-1 record in his two seasons [3] and becoming a Henry Rutgers Scholar along the way. [2]

Kroll was a 1962 player for the American Football League's New York Titans (later the Jets), playing center and offensive tackle. [4] In the off-season he worked as an advertising trainee with Young & Rubicam (Y&R).

Advertising career

Alex Kroll spent his entire business career in advertising at Young & Rubicam, where he rose from copywriter in 1963 to CEO in 1985, retiring as Chairman and CEO at the end of 1994. Kroll rose rapidly through the ranks in just his first seven years, becoming Executive Vice-President and Creative Director at the agency in 1970 at the age of 33. [5]

During his 10 years as CEO, Y&R's worldwide billings increased 2½ times, to $8 billion, and its offices more than doubled, to 331. Under his leadership, Y&R opened the first advertising agencies in Russia and China and built the largest agency network in Central and Eastern Europe. Bravo grew into America's largest Hispanic agency. And, Y&R acquired Landor, the world's leading identity and design company.


Kroll served as Chairman both for the American Association of Advertising Agencies and the Advertising Council, the organization which produces most of the important public service advertising in the United States. Under his leadership in 1997, the Council launched an initiative to direct donated media to highlight public causes.[ citation needed ]

Kroll stepped down from Young and Rubicam in 1994, but still kept busy after his retirement, serving as a senior adviser to the Bill Bradley Presidential Exploratory Committee in 1998, which was formed by former U.S. Senate Democrat Bill Bradley of New Jersey. [6] [7] The committee's intent was to explore a presidential candidacy with the Federal Election Commission.

He developed a program called "Play It Smart", which encourages football coaches to set academic goals for their students. [2] Kroll was featured in the 2009 Showtime program Full Color Football .


Kroll is a recipient of the Horatio Alger Award, [2] the NCAA Silver Medal for Excellence, the Walter Camp Distinguished American Award, and the American Jewish Committee's National Human Relations Award. He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and the Advertising Hall of Fame. [8]

Personal life

On December 23, 1961, Alex Kroll married Phyllis Benford, whose father served as a vice president at Allegheny Ludlum Steel Corporation, in a well-publicized ceremony in Miami Beach, Florida. [9] The couple has two sons and one daughter, whom they raised in West Redding, Connecticut, before moving to Charlotte, Vermont, years later. They now live next door to their daughter and their two favorite grandchildren.[ citation needed ]

See also

Related Research Articles

John H. McConnell American businessman

John Henderson McConnell was the founder of Worthington Industries, which manufactures processed steel products, pressure cylinders, and metal framing. He was the founder, majority owner, chairman, and governor of the Columbus Blue Jackets NHL team. In addition, McConnell was a part of the ownership group of the AFL's Columbus Destroyers, an early investor in the MLS' Columbus Crew, and minority owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Raymond Rubicam was an American advertising pioneer who co-established the Young & Rubicam (Y&R) advertising agency with John Orr Young. He retired from Y&R in 1944 at age 52.

Grey Group is a global advertising and marketing agency with headquarters in New York City, and 432 offices in 96 countries, operating in 154 cities. It is organized into four geographical units: North America; Europe, Middle East & Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights football football team of Rutgers University

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights football team represents Rutgers University in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA). Rutgers competes as a member of the East Division of the Big Ten Conference. Prior to joining the Big Ten, the team was a member of the American Athletic Conference from 1991 to 2013. Rutgers plays its home games at SHI Stadium, in Piscataway, New Jersey. The team is currently led by head coach Greg Schiano. The Rutgers Scarlet Knights football team is notable for playing in the first ever intercollegiate football game in 1869, in which they defeated Princeton University by a score of 6–4. For this reason, Rutgers has been described as "the birthplace of college football."

Pat Ryan (executive) American businessman

Patrick G. Ryan is an American billionaire insurance businessman. He is the founder and retired chairman and CEO of Aon Corporation. In 2010, he founded Ryan Specialty Group (RSG) as a holding company aimed at providing specialty services to insurance brokers, agents and carriers. RSG's first subsidiary, ThinkRisk, began business in December 2009 to provide underwriting and claims management services for media, technology, advertising and network security.

Edward Vick American Vietnam veteran

Edward H. Vick is a former US naval officer, businessman, American author and a volunteer advocate worker for veterans' causes. He served two tours of duty during the Vietnam War and received two Bronze Star Medals with Combat "V", the Combat Action Ribbon, the Presidential Unit Citation and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. His business career was spent in the marketing communications business, including most recently, the chairmanship of Young & Rubicam Advertising and its parent, Young & Rubicam Inc. Vick has also been active in veterans' causes and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Vietnam Veterans of America for his volunteer work.

Michael William Wright was an American business executive and Canadian football player. He served as chief executive officer of SuperValu (1981–2001) and as a director of Wells Fargo & Company.

David C. Novak American businessman and the executive chairman of YUM! Brands Inc

David Charles Novak is an American businessman, author and philanthropist. He is Founder and CEO of David Novak Leadership and is Co-Founder and retired Chairman and chief executive officer of YUM! Brands Inc.

Y&R ANZ is an Australasian advertising agency. The agency was formed in 2005 when the international advertising holding conglomerate WPP Group acquired the Australian marketing communications company, The Communications Group (TCG).

Mike Jackson (automotive) Chairman of the Board and CEO of AutoNation Inc.

Michael Jackson is the Executive Chairman and former chief executive officer, and president of AutoNation, Inc. Under his guidance the organization became the largest automotive retailer in the United States, using a more customer-focused, transparent and contemporary business model.

Charles Hendrickson Brower was an American advertising executive, copywriter, and author.

Tony Granger South African businessman

Tony Granger is the global chief creative officer of the New York-based global advertising agency Young & Rubicam.

Edward Noonan Ney was the chief executive officer of advertising agency Young & Rubicam from 1970 to 1986, and served as United States Ambassador to Canada from 1989 to 1992.

Alan B. Miller is an American businessman who is the founder of Universal Health Services, and currently serves as the company's chairman and chief executive officer (CEO). Miller founded the company in 1979 and it has grown to become one of the largest providers of hospital and healthcare services in the nation, with annual revenues of more than $11.37 billion.

Hamish McLennan Australian businessman (born 1966)

| known_for = Network Ten CEO
Executive vice president, Office of the chairman, News Corporation
Chair of Young & Rubicam (Y&R)
Chair Rugby Australia }}

Michael Lewis "Mike" Becker was a major Madison Avenue advertising creative director. He now operates a small communications firm in suburban New Jersey.

In September 2018, Y&R merged with VML to become VMLY&R.

Dario Straschnoy is an Argentine communications executive, Chairman of Untold_ and CEO of The Juju. He is recognized for his work as President and partner of Young & Rubicam's Argentine office.

Peter Andrew Georgescu is a Romanian-American business executive, author, onetime political prisoner and the Chairman Emeritus of Young & Rubicam.

Stephanie Kugelman is a retired advertising executive, branding expert and executive mentor. She is the former Vice Chairman and Chief Strategic officer of Young & Rubicam Inc, which was a publicly traded S&P company until its acquisition by British holding company WPP plc in 2000 for $4.7 billion. Her career at Y&R started as a junior researcher and she remains a Vice Chairman Emeritus of the company. As a brand strategist, since 2011 has most recently served on the public boards of Whole Foods Market, and Young & Rubicam Inc, and sits on the board of Home Shopping Network(HSN). She is also Vice Chairman of Solera Capital, a New York private equity firm.


  1. "1959 Los Angeles Rams". Archived from the original on February 17, 2010. Retrieved July 17, 2020.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  2. 1 2 3 4 "1993 Horatio Alger Award Winner Alexander Kroll". Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  3. "The Star Ledger". May 15, 2016. p. 63.
  4. Kroll's 1963 Fleer football card
  5. Bernice Kanner, "Alex Kroll Plays to Win", New York Magazine, 8 November 1982.
  6. Richard L. Berke; James Dao (17 November 1999). "Bradley Adviser Is Linked to Tobacco Ads". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  7. McCarthy, Michael (1 November 1999). "He Got Game". AdWeek. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  8. "Alex Kroll, Former Chairman & CEO, Young & Rubicam Inc", American Advertising Federation Hall of Fame.
  9. "Wedding, not Runners, Cause Kroll Trouble", St. Petersburg Times, December 24, 1961.