|Date of birth:||July 7, 1898|
|Place of birth:||Chicago, Illinois, United States|
|Date of death:||August 5, 1985(aged 87)|
|Place of death:||Chicago, Illiniois, United States|
|Position(s):||Fullback, Tailback, Quarterback|
|High school:||Francis W. Parker|
Career highlights and awards
|Playing stats at|
|Coaching stats at|
|Years of service:||1917–19|
|Battles/wars:||World War I|
Arnold "Arnie" Horween (originally Arnold Horwitz; also known as A. McMahon; July 7, 1898 – August 5, 1985) was a college and professional American football player and coach. He played and coached both for Harvard and in the National Football League (NFL).
He also played four seasons in the NFL, as a fullback, tailback (halfback), and blocking back (quarterback) for the Racine Cardinals and the Chicago Cardinals. He was a player-coach for the Cardinals. Later, he was Harvard's head football coach, from 1925 to 1930.
His brother Ralph Horween was also an All-American football player for Harvard, and also played and coached in the NFL for the Cardinals. They were the last Jewish brothers to play in the NFL until Geoff Schwartz and Mitchell Schwartz, in the 2000s. After retiring from football, Horween and his brother inherited and ran the family leather tannery business, Horween Leather Company.
Early and personal life
Horween's parents, Isidore and Rose (Rabinoff), immigrated to Chicago from Ukraine in the Russian Empire in 1892. During his youth the family changed its name to Horween from its original name, which was either Horwitz or Horowitz. During his playing days at Harvard he was unmasked as having what an angry contemporary called the "nom de Ghetto" of Horwitz.
Horween was Jewish, and was born in Chicago, Illinois. He was the brother of Ralph Horween, who was two years older. They were the last Jewish brothers to play in the NFL until offensive tackles Geoff Schwartz and Mitchell Schwartz in the 2000s.
Horween followed his older brother to Harvard University, where they played together on the Harvard Crimson football team, in 1916. In his freshman year, he played both football (as a fullback) and baseball (as a pitcher), and was a member of the track team as a shotputter.
The next year he enlisted in the United States Navy during World War I, in April 1917. In October 1917, the Navy had Horween take a special course at Harvard leading to an ensign's officer rank. He was ultimately promoted to the rank of lieutenant, and served in the Atlantic Ocean on a destroyer. He was discharged in 1919, and returned to Harvard.
Horween played left halfback, right halfback, fullback, and center for the Harvard Crimson, and was a First-Team All-American, from 1919 to 1920. In both 1919 and 1920 Harvard was undefeated (9–0–1 and 8–0–1, respectively). In 1919, Donald Grant Herring ranked him the Second-Team fullback on the Princeton-Yale-Harvard composite team.
Horween was unanimously elected the Harvard Crimson's first Jewish captain in 1920. That year, he kicked a 42-yard (38 m) field goal against Yale in a 9–0 victory, and a 37-yard (34 m) field goal against the Centre Colonels. He was part of the unbeaten 1919 team that won the 1920 Rose Bowl against the Oregon, 7–6, as he kicked the extra point that decided the game, and Harvard relied in part on his running game. It remains the only bowl game appearance in Harvard history.
Harvard's coach called his play "inspiring," and the New York Times wrote:
The way he smashed through the line was considerable... there were even some protests that this dark-haired, sturdily built Crimson fullback was a little too rough.
Horween played fullback, tailback, and blocking back (quarterback) in the National Football League for four years, in 32 games, for the Racine Cardinals (in the American Professional Football Association, the predecessor to the NFL) in 1921 and the Chicago Cardinals (as the Cardinals changed their name) from 1922 to 1924. He was a player–coach for the Cardinals from 1923 to 1924.
In 1922–23, Horween appeared in all 11 games and scored 4 rushing touchdowns as the Cardinals were 8–3–0. In 1923–24, the team was 8–4–0. On October 7, 1923, he and his brother both scored in the same game, as he kicked two extra points and his brother ran for a touchdown as the Cardinals beat the Rochester Jeffersons 60–0 at Normal Park in Chicago. On November 12, 1922, he made a long pass to Paddy Driscoll for the game's only touchdown, in a 7–0 victory over the Akron Pros. On December 2, 1923, they did it again, as he kicked a 35-yard (32 m) field goal and his brother ran for a touchdown as the Cardinals beat the Oorang Indians, 22–19.
His brother Ralph Horween also played for the Chicago Cardinals. Horween and his brother played for the Cardinals under the alias McMahon (he played as A. McMahon) to protect their family's social status. He kept that name until 1923.
Coaching career at Harvard
The boys are for him unreservedly. It is no, secret, however, that Horween's appointment didn't please the Beacon Street-Park Avenue element among the grads. The clique that supported the old regime would prefer to see a Cabot or a Wendell, we use the names as symbols, in the saddle...
He structured the team's approach after the professional game, and appointed the first non-Harvard alumni to the football team's coaching staff. Charlie Devens, who later played baseball for the New York Yankees, recalled that when he played football under Horween at Harvard, when the team faced Michigan in Ann Arbor, anti-Semitic posters were displayed, aimed at Coach Horween.
Horween and his fiancee, who were engaged for some time, had agreed to postpone getting married until Harvard defeated Yale. When Harvard defeated Yale in November 1928, the couple got married days later. He resigned following the 1930 season, despite requests from faculty and students that he remain.
Horween Leather Company
After retiring from football, Horween returned to Chicago in 1930, and he and his brother inherited the family leather tannery business, Horween Leather Company, which had been founded by their father in Chicago in 1905. He operated the business, a successful company that supplied (and still supplies) the leather for Wilson's NFL official football, from 1949–84.
In 1945, he coached the football team of his former high school, Francis Parker.
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