Frank Dempsey

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Frank Dempsey
No. 40, 62, 66, 41
Position: Linebacker, defensive lineman, offensive lineman
Personal information
Born: (1925-05-27)May 27, 1925
Dothan, Alabama
Died: June 1, 2013(2013-06-01) (aged 88)
Oakville, Ontario
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight: 235 lb (107 kg)
Career information
High school: Miami Senior (FL)
College: Florida
NFL Draft: 1950 / Round: 13 / Pick: 166
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL/CFL statistics
NFL games played: 39
CFL games played: 25
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

James Franklin Dempsey (May 27, 1925 – June 1, 2013) was an American college and professional football player who was a linebacker and lineman in the National Football League (NFL) and the Canadian Football League (CFL) for six seasons in the 1950s. Dempsey played college football for the University of Florida, and thereafter, he played professionally for the Chicago Bears of the NFL and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Ottawa Rough Riders of the CFL.

Early years[edit]

Dempsey was born in Dothan, Alabama in 1925.[1] He attended Miami Senior High School in Miami, Florida,[2] and he played high school football for the Miami Stingarees.

College career[edit]

Dempsey attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where he played for coach Raymond Wolf's Florida Gators football team from 1946 to 1949.[3] He was a standout lineman on offense and defense for the Gators at the lowest point in the history of their football program, ironically dubbed the "Golden Era" by the players.[4] Dempsey graduated from the University of Florida with a bachelor's degree in physical education in 1950, and he was later inducted into the University of Florida Athletic Hall of Fame as a "Gator Great" in 1971.[5][6]

Dempsey was remembered as a good-natured mischief maker and for the pranks and activities of his teammates that revolved around his World War II-era surplus Jeep.[7]

Professional career[edit]

The Chicago Bears selected Dempsey in the thirteenth round (166th pick overall) of the 1950 NFL Draft,[8] and he played in thirty-nine games for the Bears from 1950 to 1953.[9] He was a versatile player, and at different times, he played both offense and defense, including linebacker, guard and tackle.[1]

Dempsey played his final two professional seasons in the CFL, first for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 1954 and the first part of 1955, and then for the Ottawa Rough Riders during the latter part of the 1955 season.[10] He was selected as a CFL East All-Star in the first CFL All-Star Game in 1955.[10]

Life after football[edit]

After Dempsey's professional football career ended, he remained in Canada and became the owner of a successful fire arms and sporting goods store.[7] In retirement, he lived in Oakville, Ontario, where he died June 1, 2013.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b, Players, Frank Dempsey. Retrieved March 8, 2011.
  2. ^, Players, Frank Dempsey Archived 2011-11-21 at the Wayback Machine.. Retrieved March 8, 2011.
  3. ^ 2011 Florida Gators Football Media Guide Archived April 2, 2012, at the Wayback Machine., University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, p. 180 (2011). Retrieved August 28, 2011.
  4. ^ Tom McEwen, The Gators: A Story of Florida Football, The Strode Publishers, Huntsville, Alabama, pp. 136, 141, 148–151 (1974).
  5. ^ F Club, Hall of Fame, Gator Greats. Retrieved December 13, 2014.
  6. ^ Associated Press, "O'Connell Lauded for Actions," Sarasota Journal (May 3, 1971). Retrieved July 24, 2011.
  7. ^ a b Jack Hairston, Tales from the Gator Swamp, Sports Publishing, LLC, Champaign, Illinois, pp. 160–167 (2002).
  8. ^ Pro Football Hall of Fame, Draft History, 1950 National Football League Draft. Retrieved March 28, 2011.
  9. ^ National Football League, Historical Players, Frank Dempsey. Retrieved March 8, 2011.
  10. ^ a b, Players A–Z, Frank Dempsey. Retrieved April 27, 2011.
  11. ^ "Frank Dempsey," The Peterborough Examiner (June 4, 2013). Retrieved September 11, 2013.


  • Carlson, Norm, University of Florida Football Vault: The History of the Florida Gators, Whitman Publishing, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia (2007). ISBN 0-7948-2298-3.
  • Golenbock, Peter, Go Gators! An Oral History of Florida's Pursuit of Gridiron Glory, Legends Publishing, LLC, St. Petersburg, Florida (2002). ISBN 0-9650782-1-3.
  • Hairston, Jack, Tales from the Gator Swamp: A Collection of the Greatest Gator Stories Ever Told, Sports Publishing, LLC, Champaign, Illinois (2002). ISBN 1-58261-514-4.
  • McCarthy, Kevin M., Fightin' Gators: A History of University of Florida Football, Arcadia Publishing, Mount Pleasant, South Carolina (2000). ISBN 978-0-7385-0559-6.
  • McEwen, Tom, The Gators: A Story of Florida Football, The Strode Publishers, Huntsville, Alabama (1974). ISBN 0-87397-025-X.
  • Nash, Noel, ed., The Gainesville Sun Presents The Greatest Moments in Florida Gators Football, Sports Publishing, Inc., Champaign, Illinois (1998). ISBN 1-57167-196-X.