Sam Berger

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Sam Berger
Born: (1900-01-01)January 1, 1900
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Died: July 24, 1992(1992-07-24) (aged 92)
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Career information
Position(s) Owner
Career history
As administrator
1930–1968 Ottawa Rough Riders
1969–1981 Montreal Alouettes
Career stats

Samuel "Sam" Berger, CM FRSC QC (January 1, 1900 – July 24, 1992) was a Canadian owner of the Canadian Football League's Ottawa Rough Riders and Montreal Alouettes and president of the CFL.


A lawyer by profession, he was an early football fan who became involved with the Ottawa Rough Riders team as its legal advisor, president, and as an owner. He served three, three-year terms as the club's president during which time the team made it to the Grey Cup seven times, winning the championship on four occasions.

Active in the Ottawa community, Berger twice ran for mayor of the city, losing to Charlotte Whitton in the 1960 and 1962 elections.

In 1969 Sam Berger sold his shares in the Ottawa club and donated the proceeds to charitable causes. He then purchased the troubled Montreal Alouettes franchise and in the ensuing twelve years built it into a powerhouse that made six Grey Cup appearances and won it three times.

He was President of the Canadian Football League in 1964 and 1971 and as an attorney and owner played a key role in putting together the League's first television contract.

He retired in 1976 as the active owner of Alouettes, handing over the presidency to his eldest son, David.[1] On March 6, 1981, Berger sold the Alouettes to Vancouver businessman Nelson Skalbania.

In 1986, Sam Berger was made a Member of the Order of Canada, Canada's highest civilian honour, for "his commitments to the sport and to the City of Montreal".[2] In 1993 he was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.


  1. ^ Bacon, Dick (1 December 1976). "Sam Berger will retire soon, turn Alouettes over to his sons". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 30 April 2013.
  2. ^ Order of Canada citation