Ever wonder how the Philadelphia Eagles came to be? Or who has been a part of the team throughout its history? This blog post will take you through a brief history of team ownership and squad membership, highlighting some of the most important moments along the way. So settle in and get ready to learn a little bit about your favorite football team.
Early Ownership of the Philadelphia Eagles
The Philadelphia Eagles have had a long and storied history of ownership, beginning with Bert Bell in 1933, and by 1940 he had successfully established the team as a legitimate professional football organization.
In 1941, Alexis Thompson took over as owner and made some key decisions that allowed the Eagles to begin competing on a higher level, including signing legendary coach Earle “Greasy” Neale.
After Thompson's successful tenure with the team, James P. Clark assumed full ownership in 1949. Clark guided the team through several tumultuous years over the course of his thirteen-year stint at the helm until 1962.
Jerry Wolman then became the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles from 1963-1968, but it was during this time that financial difficulties began to cripple the organization and eventually drove Wolman into bankruptcy in 1969.
Leonard Tose stepped up to purchase a majority stake in the Eagles from Wolman for $16 million – which proved to be an extremely wise investment as Tose was able to turn around the fortunes of his new team and help them reach new heights of success like never before.
He served as majority owner until 1984 when he sold his controlling interest in the team to Norman Braman, who guided it through 1993 with mixed results.
Ed Leibowitz also held minority ownership for one year but, due to financial troubles, could not remain a part of the organization for much longer than that brief window of time.
Significant Changes in Team Ownership
Lurie also made sure that the roster of players was always top-notch, signing some of the most talented players in NFL history, like Donovan McNabb, Brian Westbrook, Terrell Owens, and DeSean Jackson. Today's squad is estimated to be worth more than $4.9 billion and is still owned by billionaire entrepreneur Jeffrey Lurie.
The Philadelphia Eagles have been a part of Philadelphia's culture for decades now, and they are sure to continue their strong tradition of success with the help of their passionate fans and incredibly talented owners & players.
Notable Players of the Eagles Through History
Chuck Bednarik, also known as “Concrete Charlie,” is a Philadelphia Eagles legend who played his entire NFL career with the organization. He was drafted in 1949 and quickly made a name for himself as one of the toughest players in the league. Despite standing 6’1” and weighing only 205 lbs, Bednarik was an incredibly powerful blocker and tackler; he is credited with pioneering the two-way player approach to professional football by excelling at both offense and defense.
He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1967. One of Chuck’s most famous accomplishments came at the end of an overtime game against the New York Giants in November of 1960; he blocked a Giant’s punt late in the fourth quarter that preserved Philadelphia's win.
Brian Dawkins is a Philadelphia Eagles legend and Hall of Fame inductee. Drafted in the second round of the 1996 NFL draft, Dawkins quickly earned a reputation as one of the most impressive safeties to ever play in the league. His speed, power, and intelligence made him an invaluable asset to the Eagle's defense for 13 seasons.
Dawkins was an incredibly versatile player; he could line up at any position in the secondary due to his skill set, making him difficult to plan against. He was also an incredible leader; teammates credited him with being instrumental in helping them stay focused during games and motivated on the sidelines during tough times.
Reggie White is a legendary Philadelphia Eagles player, widely considered one of the most outstanding defensive linemen in NFL history. He was drafted by the Eagles in 1984 and soon began to make an immediate impact on the team’s defense with his unique blend of size, strength, and athleticism. Nicknamed “The Minister of Defense” due to his deep religious faith, Reggie White was an unstoppable force on the field.
The Philadelphia Eagles have a long and storied history of success in the NFL. From their humble beginnings as a small-town team to their current status as one of the most powerful teams in football, they have always had some of the best owners, players, and fans around. The Eagles will undoubtedly continue to make strides on the field in years to come, thanks to their commitment to quality personnel and leadership.
Sports Team History looks at the history and logo of each professional sports team to have ever existed from the MLB, MLS, NBA, NCAA, NFL, NHL, Premier League, WNBA, XFL, ABA, AAF, or USFL.
One of our partner sites is Sports Logo History, a community of sports logo enthusiasts who enjoy each team’s logo history. In addition, we have added Sports News History to our sports history websites. 24/7 non-stop sports news that's worth knowing. Finally, the premier sports team marketplace for your favorite team or college, with thousands of items for you to peruse at Sports Market History.