Last NameSportCountryYear Inducted

Sport: Football
Inducted: 1999
Country: United States
Born: December 20, 1888 in Tukum, Kurland, Russia
Died: February 14, 1969

Joe Magidsohn was a University of Michigan All-America halfback in
1909 and 1910. He did not play high school football since it was not played at his school, and played only two years of college football. Nevertheless,he was the first Jew to win an “M” (college letter) in University of Michigan athletics.

His powerhouse Wolverines lost only one game during the two seasons he starred at halfback. Michigan’s stunning 12–6 defeat of the University of Pennsylvania in 1909, in which Magidsohn
scored both touchdowns, was the first time that any Western team had beaten one of the Big Four of American college football—Penn, Yale, Princeton, and Harvard.

Of the celebrated times a Jewish athlete has taken a day off on the Jewish High Holy Days, Magidsohn is likely the first to do so. According to Magidsohn, his coach “reluctantly excused me from workouts for two days to attend Rosh Hashanah services.”

Magidsohn was a Western Conference football official for 35 years from 1912 to 1946 and was assigned to many of the college “big games,” including Army-Navy, Rose Bowl, and College All-Star games.

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