Chapter 1, Page 16

George Preston Marshall

No Boredom or Blacks Allowed

By Shirley Povich

The man who brought the Redskins to Washington in 1937 was an uncommon laundry chain owner with a bent for show business. He was widely considered (1) one of pro football's greatest innovators and (2) its leading bigot.

George Preston Marshall was a dashing fellow whose love of show business manifested itself in many ways. It was evident in his own failed fling at acting, in his first marriage to a former Ziegfeld Follies girl and in his second to silent screen goddess Corinne Griffith. It was apparent in his invention of halftime extravaganzas worthy of Hollywood and in his ground-breaking radio and TV broadcasts of football games. It was what mainly drove the NFL rules changes he engineered — to make sure nobody got bored with a gridiron performance.

Marshal liked to live the part. One of his trademarks during football season was his full-length raccoon coat. Another was his always-at-the-ready chauffeured limousine. (He never acquired a driver's license, hated to fly and loved riding railroads.)

Marshall also produced a few theatrical shows in Washington, including a musical called "Getting Gertie's Garter." This was in addition to running the Palace Laundry inherited from his father. In fact, he built the laundry from two stores into a 57-outlet chain before selling out in 1948, making the "Long Live Linen" slogan emblazoned on its trucks a byword in Washington.

The year he brought the Redskins to Washington, he even did a stint as publisher of Hearst's Washington Times. That was on the heels of another year in which the mercurial Marshall accepted a $100,000 salary to be director of the Great Texas and Pan-American Exposition in Dallas. All the while, he managed to superintend his football team, with the tight-fisted Marshall watching every penny.

Page 16 | Next Page: 17

Other Pages in Chapter 1:
7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42

Table of Contents
Chapter 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6
Names, Numbers
Trivia Quiz

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