Dick Kazmaier

Last updated
Dick Kazmaier
Princeton TigersNo. 42
Position Halfback
Personal information
Born:November 23, 1930
Maumee, Ohio
Died:August 1, 2013(2013-08-01) (aged 82)
Boston, Massachusetts
Career history
High school Maumee
Career highlights and awards
College Football Hall of Fame (1966)

Richard William Kazmaier Jr. (November 23, 1930 – August 1, 2013) was an American football player for Princeton University from 1949 through 1951 and winner of the 1951 Heisman Trophy, Maxwell Award, and was the AP athlete of the year.


Early life and career

Kazmaier was born November 23, 1930, in Toledo, Ohio, the only child of Richard and Marian Kazmaier. [1] He graduated from Maumee High School in Ohio in 1948. He played football (four years), basketball (four years), track and field (four years), baseball (four years) and golf (one year) earning a letter each year in each sport. He was recruited by 23 colleges, most offering full scholarships. [2]

As a halfback, kicker and quarterback, he ended his career third all time in Princeton history with over 4,000 yards of offense and 55 touchdowns.

Kazmaier was named an All-American and won the Maxwell Award and the Heisman Trophy in 1951 after his senior season. (John McGillicuddy was Kazmaier's fellow football player and roommate at Princeton.) Kazmaier was named Ivy League Football Player of the Decade in 1960 and Time Magazine ran his picture on its cover. [3] He was the last Heisman Trophy winner to play for an Ivy League institution. [4] Kazmaier graduated from Princeton in 1952 after completing a senior thesis titled "The Company and the Union: A Case Study." [5] The Chicago Bears selected him in the 1952 NFL Draft, but he declined to play pro football, instead going to Harvard Business School. After spending three years in the Navy (1955–1957) and attaining the rank of lieutenant, he founded Kazmaier Associated Inc, an investment firm in Concord, Massachusetts. [6]

Later life

Kazmaier served as a director of the American Red Cross, director of the Ladies Professional Golfers Association, trustee of Princeton University, director of the Knight Foundation on Intercollegiate Athletics, chairman of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush and president of the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame. The NCAA gave him its Silver Anniversary Award. He also received the National Football Foundation Distinguished American Award. [7]

In 2007, during a Maumee football game against Perrysburg, Kazmaier was honored by having his jersey number (#42) retired. [8] He also donated his Heisman Trophy to Maumee High School, where it is displayed inside a glass case in the main hallway. [9] The stadium at Maumee High School is named in his honor. His daughter, the late Patty Kazmaier-Sandt, was an All-Ivy member of the Princeton women's ice hockey team who died in 1990 at the age of 28 from a rare blood disease. The Patty Kazmaier Award, which was established by Kazmaier to memorialize his daughter, is given to the top woman college ice hockey player in the United States at the annual Women's Frozen Four NCAA championship. [10]


Kazmaier died on August 1, 2013, in Boston from heart and lung disease at the age of 82. [11] [12]


See also

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  1. "Dick Kazmaier; 1930-2013: Maumee star won Heisman". toledoblade.com. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  2. richardwkazmaier Archived 2011-07-20 at the Wayback Machine
  3. Heisman.com - Heisman Trophy Archived 2009-08-04 at the Wayback Machine
  4. World Almanac and Book of Facts 2005, at 978 (World Almanac Books, 2005).
  5. Kazmaier, Jr., Richard William. Princeton University. Department of Psychology (ed.). "The Company and the Union: A Case Study".Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  6. "Illustrious Maumee graduate will present school with copy of his 1951 Heisman Trophy". toledoblade.com. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  7. Litsky, Frank (1 August 2013). "Dick Kazmaier, a Heisman Winner Who Passed on the N.F.L., Dies at 82". NY Times. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  8. Princeton Alumni Weekly 11/19/2008 http://paw.princeton.edu/issues/2008/11/19/pages/1716/
  9. Maumee City Schools News Archived 2007-09-24 at the Wayback Machine
  10. "The Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award". usahockey.com/. Archived from the original on 2 August 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  11. "Former Princeton standout, Heisman winner Dick Kazmaier dies". trentonian.com. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  12. Litsky, Frank (1 August 2013). "Dick Kazmaier, a Heisman Winner Who Passed on the N.F.L., Dies at 82". The New York Times.
  13. Tomlinson, Brett. "A number like no other; Princeton retires No. 42 in honor of Kazmaier ’52 and Bradley ’65", Princeton Alumni Weekly , November 19, 2008. Accessed September 13, 2021. "As children playing football on a churchyard in Crystal City, Mo., Bill Bradley ’65 and his friends took turns emulating collegiate gridiron stars. Bradley, for a Midwestern boy, had a curious favorite. 'Other kids wanted to be "Hopalong" Cassady of Ohio State,' he recalled. 'I wanted to be Dick Kazmaier ['52] of Princeton.'... The two stars shared a common uniform number — 42 — worn, in the words of Director of Athletics Gary Walters ’67, 'with uncommon distinction.'"