Last NameSportCountryYear Inducted

Sport: Media
Inducted: 1996
Country: United States
Born: September 11, 1916 in Atlantic City, New Jersey

Ed Sabol is founder and president of NFL Films, Inc. Since 1964, his company has filmed every National Football League game.

A men’s clothing salesman, Sabol created the Blair Motion Pictures company in 1962 (named for daughter Blair) and made a successful bid (of $3,000) to film the National Football League’s Green Bay Packers–New York Giants championship game that year at
Yankee Stadium. The film, entitled Pro Football’s Longest Day, was such a success that he was given the rights to film the NFL’s championship contests the following two seasons. In 1964, Sabol
persuaded the NFL that it needed its own motion picture entity to promote and preserve the history of the game. Thus, NFL Films was born.

Sabol’s concept not only achieved its original goals, but has developed into an award-winning genre of filmmaking, a staple of sports coaching, and a multimillion dollar industry.

Often honored, Sabol’s NFL Films has to date won 65 television Emmy awards and numerous international awards. And Sabol himself has received numerous personal honors. In 1987, the National Football League Alumni Association presented him their Order of the Leather Helmet Award, given to “those who have made deep and lasting contributions to the game of professional football.” That
same year, he received the NFL’s Bert Bell Memorial Award for his “outstanding contributions” to the League. And, in 1991, Sabol was the third person to be honored by the NFL Hall of Fame with the Pete Rozelle Award, presented “for exceptional long-time contributions to radio and television in professional football.”

As an All-America athlete in the mid-1930s, Ed Sabol was a World
class swimmer (50- and 100-yard freestyle) at Ohio State University when he was selected for the 1936 United States Olympic Team. He declined the honor, publicly stating that
he would not swim in a pool built by Adolf Hitler!


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