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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

FRIEDMAN, BENJAMIN "BENNY" - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

FRIEDMAN, BENJAMIN "BENNY" (18 Mar. 1905-23 Nov. 1982), a native Clevelander, born to Louis and Mayme Friedman, was a college and professional quarterback. He was a football star at Glenville High School and led the team to an undefeated season and city championship in 1922. He played football at the University of Michigan in 1924, 1925, and 1926, and was All-American the latter 2 years. Friedman returned to Cleveland to play professional football in 1927 for the CLEVELAND BULLDOGS, receiving a seasonal $18,000 salary and $750 for each postseason game when most players made about $150 per game. In addition to quarterbacking, he promoted upcoming games. He played for the Detroit Wolverines in 1928, and in 1929 New York Giants owner Tim Mara bought the entire Detroit team to obtain Friedman. Friedman also played for the Brooklyn Dodgers (1932-34) before retiring. Friedman's specialty was accurate passing, but he ran with the ball, did place-kicking, and played defense as well as offense. During his professional career, he threw 71 touchdown passes and scored 179 points.

Friedman became head football coach at City College of New York (1934-41) and head football coach and athletic director at Brandeis University (1949-63). For many years he operated a summer camp in Oxford, Maine. Friedman was inducted into Glenville High School's Hall of Fame (1980) and the College Football Hall of Fame (1952). He married on 12 Feb. 1931. He and his wife, Shirley (Immerman), had a son, Leslie. In 1982, Friedman, suffering from cancer and a circulatory ailment and having lost a leg to amputation, took his own life.

Finding aid for the Benny Friedman Papers. WRHS.
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2012 10:34:34 AM

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