John C. Bell (lawyer)
|John Cromwell Bell|
From a portrait by Julian Story, c. 1918
|District Attorney of Philadelphia|
|Preceded by||John Weaver|
|Succeeded by||Samuel P. Rotan|
|45th Attorney General of Pennsylvania|
January 17, 1911 – January 19, 1915
|Preceded by||Moses Hampton Todd|
|Succeeded by||Francis Shunk Brown|
|Born||October 3, 1861
Elders Ridge, West Lebanon, Indiana County, Pennsylvania
|Died||December 29, 1935 (aged 74)
|Spouse(s)||Fleurette de Benneville Keim Myers|
|Alma mater||University of Philadelphia|
John Cromwell Bell (October 3, 1861 – December 29, 1935) was a distinguished Pennsylvania lawyer, serving as a District Attorney for Philadelphia and state Attorney General.
He was closely involved with football and his alma mater, the University of Pennsylvania. He served as director of Penn's athletic program, chairman of its football committee, and from 1911 onwards, was a trustee. He helped found the NCAA, and served on Intercollegiate Football Rules Committee, responsible for the many rules changes made in collegiate football in its early years.
His family moved to Philadelphia when he was fourteen. Bell attended Central High, graduating in 1880 (with an A.B.) and then the University of Pennsylvania, directly in the law school, receiving an LL.B. in 1884. At Penn, he played halfback on the football team for three years.
He married Fleurette de Benneville Keim Myers, daughter of Leonard Myers, a former Congressman, in 1890. They had two sons. The elder, John Cromwell, had a distinguished career as attorney, governor, and judge. The younger, de Benneville, known as Bert, had a distinguished career as football team owner and NFL commissioner.
When in 1902 sitting Philadelphia District Attorney John Weaver won election as the city's mayor, Bell accepted the appointment to take his place, and then ran for and won a term on his own, but declined a renomination. As District Attorney, he was noted for enforcement of food purity laws.
In 1911, Governor John K. Tener appointed Bell as state Attorney General. Upon completing his term, Bell returned to private practice.
Bell died of heart disease in 1935.
- Charles Franklin Warwick (1913). Warwick's Keystone Commonwealth. pp. 397–8.
- Smull's Legislative Hand Book and Manual of the State of Pennsylvania. 1913. p. 182g.
- Samuel Hudson (1909). Pennsylvania and its public men. p. 81.
- Thomas Lynch Montgomery, ed. (1918). Pennsylvania and its University and other Addresses of John Cromwell Bell.
- General Alumni Catalogue of the University of Pennsylvania. 1922. p. 435.
- "John C. Bell dead, was leader of Bar". New York Times. December 30, 1935. p. 19.
- Some sources, including the New York Times obituary and the University of Pennsylvania, state or imply 1861. His "official" state biography in The Pennsylvania Manual while he was state Attorney General gives 1862.
- "How the Game of Football is Now Played". Chicago Daily Tribune. September 20, 1896. p. 33.
- "Football Rules Revised". Washington Post. April 30, 1900. p. 8.
- "Football Solons Meet to Adopt Rules Today". New York Times. January 27, 1908. p. 7.
- "Forward Pass to be Changed Today". New York Times. January 25, 1908. p. 7.
- Warwick, p. 397.
- General Alumni Catalogue, p. 435.
- Warwick, p. 398.
- Hudson, p. 81
Moses Hampton Todd
|Pennsylvania Attorney General
Francis Shunk Brown