Bert Bell’s influence

Bert Bell’s influence

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Bert Bell, a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s charter class of 1963, served as the NFL’s commissioner from 1946 to 1959 following stints as the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers. It was Bell’s idea to hold an annual college draft and his vision came to life in 1936 when the NFL held its inaugural draft.

Visitors to the Pro Football Hall of Fame can view an exhibit room devoted to Bell that includes his desk and several important documents from the Hall of Fame’s collection pertaining to Bell’s impact on the game. The room is part of the Ralph Wilson, Jr. Pro Football Research and Preservation Center that opened last summer.

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