Tom Harmon
American football player, announcer
Tom Harmon
Thomas Dudley "Tom" Harmon was a star player in American college football, a sports broadcaster, and patriarch of a family of American actors. As a player, he won the Heisman Trophy in 1940 and is considered by some to be the greatest football player in Michigan Wolverines history.
Biography
Tom Harmon's personal information overview.
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News
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Heights calls bond election - San Antonio Express
Google News - over 5 years
AHNA President Tom Harmon was absent at Monday's meeting, as was Weser, who had a scheduled trip out of town a year prior to it. Former AHNA president and current city facilities committee member John Joseph, who had voiced concerns about spending more
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Hoke turning Michigan around - FOXSports.com
Google News - over 5 years
The massive video screens perched high above each end zone came to life, a 10-minute highlight video featuring the school's three Heisman Trophy winners — Tom Harmon, Desmond Howard and Charles Woodson — and Anthony Carter, Tom Brady, Brian Griese,
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Hundreds pay tribute to fallen soldier - Jamestown Sun
Google News - over 5 years
“Matt was a good kid,” said Harmon's father, Tom Harmon. His son was a product of small-town America where, if someone has a job to do, they get it done. “I'm sure he and that other young man knew of the danger, but they went in willingly,” Tom Harmon
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Tom Harmon pleads no contest to resisting arrest - Canton Repository
Google News - over 5 years
A reaction between prescription medication and alcohol led to former Stark County Commissioner Tom Harmon's arrest at a restaurant last month, his defense attorney said Thursday. Harmon, 56, of 6042 Quarry Lake Drive SE,
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Family remembers Matthew Harmon - Minnesota Public Radio
Google News - over 5 years
Tom Harmon suspects that same work ethic is what made his son such a dedicated soldier. He had no spoken to his son since July before his deployment to Afghanistan. "We realize he's gone and we realize that nobody forced him to do what he was doing
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Bonham Rotary Club supports wheelchair project - North Texas e-News
Google News - over 5 years
The District 5810 Wheelchair Chairperson is Tom Harmon from the Duncanville Rotary Club, and he gave the program on Wednesday, August 10. Tom told how the project works - from local clubs like Bonham donating money to the actual distribution of
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Is it time for Michigan Football to retire Howard and Woodson's numbers? - isportsweb.com
Google News - over 5 years
98: Tom Harmon – The legendary Harmon was the first Wolverine to win the Heisman Trophy. He was a tremendous running back, but also a very good passer (33 TD passes) and an outstanding kicker/punter. Is it time to add to this list?
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First in Print: Camden leadership conference coming July 24-29 - The Hillsdale Daily News
Google News - over 5 years
1 Tom Harmon, national Evangelist and author will be speaking on the topic “How to be Healthy, Wealthy and Wise.” Usually when people think wealthy, they think of material goods, but Harmon will be speaking of ways to become spiritually
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Desmond Howard inducted into Hall of Fame - Sportsrageous
Google News - over 5 years
In the past, Michigan has retired five numbers, including legendary Tom Harmon's number 98. Howard said that without a doubt, his number should be retired, especially for the fact that he has won the Heisman Trophy. Other players and coaches inducted
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PREP NOTEBOOK: Cross country coach moves from Mount Baker to Nooksack Valley - Bellingham Herald
Google News - over 5 years
Nooksack Valley athletic director Tom Harmon announced this week that Buckley has accepted an offer to become the Pioneers' new cross country coach, replacing the departed Nic Castona. Buckley is moving from Mount Baker Junior High School,
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Military Briefs for July 15, 2011 - Amador Ledger-Dispatch
Google News - over 5 years
He is the son of Tom Harmon of Sutter Creek. The airman graduated in 2010 from Amador High School. Air Force Airman Dillon J. Higby has graduated from basic military training at Lackland Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas
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Harmon pleads not guilty to charges - Canton Repository
Google News - over 5 years
Police arrested Former Stark County Commissioner Tom Harmon, 56, of 6042 Quarry Lake Drive SE, at the nearby The Granite Grille at The Quarry, Monday night, July 11, 2011, on misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and criminal
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Restaurant disturbance prompts police to arrest Harmon - New Philadelphia Times Reporter
Google News - over 5 years
City police arrested Tom Harmon, 56, of 6042 Quarry Lake Drive SE, at The Granite Grille at The Quarry, on misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and criminal trespassing. Harmon was released from the Stark County Jail on his own
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'Ricky – The Musical' to highlight early '60s teen idol Ricky Nelson - NSBNEWS.net
Google News - over 5 years
Rick spent millions in attorney fees divorcing his wife Kristin, the daughter of Tom Harmon and sister of Mark Harmon. The divorce was messy and made all the papers and gossip columns. Through all of this, Rick was trying to keep a career in gear
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Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Tom Harmon
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 1990
    Age 70
    On March 15, 1990, Harmon suffered a heart attack at the Amanda Travel Agency in West Los Angeles after winning a golf tournament at Bel Air Country Club.
    More Details Hide Details He was taken to UCLA Medical Center where he died at age 70.
  • FORTIES
  • 1965
    Age 45
    By 1965, his company, Tom Harmon Sports, was generating annual gross revenue of $1 million and had six full-time employees.
    More Details Hide Details In the early 1970s, Harmon was the spokesman in television commercials for Kellogg's Product 19 cereal. He also worked as the play-by-play announcer for UCLA Bruins football games on KTLA during the 1960s and 1970s. In his later years, he was the host of "Raider Playbook" on KNBC in Los Angeles and also handled play-by-play responsibility for Los Angeles Raiders' pre-season games.
  • 1962
    Age 42
    In 1962, Harmon joined the sports staff of the ABC radio network.
    More Details Hide Details He developed a concept for a 10-minute daily sports program. He hired the crew, purchased the equipment, found sponsors and then sold the program to ABC. His 10-minute broadcasts became a staple of the ABC radio network.
  • THIRTIES
  • 1958
    Age 38
    He also handled the nightly sport report on KTLA television in Los Angeles from 1958 to 1964.
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  • 1950
    Age 30
    From approximately 1950 to 1962, Harmon worked as a sportscaster for the CBS network.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1948
    Age 28
    During the 1948 season, he broadcast Rams' games for KFI radio in Los Angeles.
    More Details Hide Details In the late 1940s, he was the play-by-play announcer for NBC on the first television broadcast of a Rose Bowl Game.
  • 1947
    Age 27
    After retiring as a player in 1947, Harmon returned to his career as a sports broadcaster, becoming one of the first and most successful athletes to make the transition from player to broadcaster.
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    Harmon believed that his talents did not fit with the T-formation offense run by the Rams, and having broken his nose 13 times, he retired for good from his playing career after the 1947 season.
    More Details Hide Details Harmon later recalled that he went from a $1,500 a week job as a player to a $100 a week position as an announcer in Glendale, California.
  • 1946
    Age 26
    He also gained 135 yards on 18 carries in a 1946 game against the Green Bay Packers.
    More Details Hide Details The following year, Harmon appeared in 12 games for the Rams, gaining 306 rushing yards on 60 carries, and catching five passes for 89 yards.
    He had an 84-yard run against the Chicago Bears on October 14, 1946, that was the longest in the NFL in 1946.
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    A "series of injuries to war weakened muscles" hampered his comeback. He appeared in 10 games for the Rams during the 1946 NFL season, rushing for 236 yards on 47 carries, and catching 10 passes for 199 yards.
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    Harmon's retirement from football was short-lived. In July 1946, he signed a two-year contract to play professional football for the Los Angeles Rams.
    More Details Hide Details Harmon later recalled that his return to the playing field was reluctant and made necessary by a $7,000 tax bill he received for his pre-war earnings.
  • 1945
    Age 25
    In October 1945, Harmon was hired to do a Saturday evening sports feature program to be broadcast on the Mutual Radio Network.
    More Details Hide Details He said at the time that his playing days were behind him and that he intended to move to California after the football season was over.
    Even before his playing days had ended, Harmon had begun to pursue a career in broadcasting. Before joining the military, he worked as the sports editor for WJR radio in Detroit. In September 1945, Harmon returned to Detroit's WJR radio to broadcast Michigan football games for the 1945 season.
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    In August 1945, upon his discharge from the military, Harmon joined the college all-star team to play against the NFL champions (the Green Bay Packers) in the annual College Football All-Star Classic in Chicago.
    More Details Hide Details Although the Packers defeated the college all-star team by a 19 to 7 score, Harmon provided a highlight with a 76-yard kickoff return that set up the all-stars' only touchdown. Harmon also kicked the extra point.
    He was promoted to the rank of captain in April 1945, and he was discharged from the military at the end of the war on August 13, 1945.
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  • 1944
    Age 24
    In August 1944, Harmon was married to movie actress and model Elyse Knox in a ceremony at the St. Mary's student chapel at the University of Michigan.
    More Details Hide Details Harmon saved his silk parachute from the crash of his P-38, and it was used as the material for his wife's wedding dress. The couple had three children:
    In November 1944, Harmon's account of his war service was published by Thomas Y. Crowell Company under the title, "Pilots Also Pray".
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    Harmon returned from China in January 1944.
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  • 1943
    Age 23
    After a brief assignment as a Lockheed P-38 Lightning pilot in North Africa, Harmon was assigned to duty with the 449th Fighter Interceptor Squadron in China in the summer of 1943.
    More Details Hide Details In October of that year, while escorting bombers on a low level mission over Kiukiang, Harmon's P-38 was shot down over the Yangtze River by a Japanese Zero during a dogfight. According to some accounts, Harmon shot down two Zeros in a dogfight over the Kiukiang docks and warehouses. Harmon was forced to bail out into Japanese-occupied China. He was later rescued by anti-Japanese Chinese guerrillas. Harmon was awarded the Purple Heart and the Silver Star for his actions with the 449th Fighter Squadron.
    In April 1943, an Army bomber piloted by Harmon, and nicknamed "Old 98" after Harmon's football jersey number, crashed into the South American jungle while en route to North Africa.
    More Details Hide Details Harmon reported that he had been flying through heavy rain turbulence for two hours. When Harmon tried to fly the plane to an opening in the weather, there was a sharp crack from the right wing and engine, and Harmon was unable to pull the plane from a steep dive. After ordering his crew to bail out, Harmon parachuted from the plane at 1,500 feet. He ended up in a tree 20 yards from where his plane crashed. Out of a crew of six, Harmon was the sole survivor of the crash and spent several days working his way through jungle and swamp. He ultimately came upon natives in Dutch Guinea who escorted him in a dugout canoe to a village where he was taken by outrigger canoe to a base of the Antilles Air Command.
  • 1942
    Age 22
    He was commissioned as a second lieutenant and a twin-engine bomber pilot and assigned to Williams Field in Arizona in October 1942.
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    Despite rumors that he had washed out of flight school, Harmon underwent his first 60 hours of flight training at the now defunct Oxnard Air Force Base in Camarillo, California, and then finished basic flying school at Gardner Army Airfield in Taft, California, in September 1942.
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    He was granted permission to enlist as a cadet in March 1942.
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  • 1941
    Age 21
    Harmon applied to enlist as a cadet in the United States Army Air Corps in early November 1941.
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    His appeal was denied in October 1941, and he was given until November 1941 to enlist.
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    In September 1941, he appeared in front of the draft board seeking a permanent deferment.
    More Details Hide Details His request was denied, and he was classified as 1-A. Harmon, then working as a radio announcer in Detroit, stated that he intended to appeal the ruling.
    In July 1941, Harmon was granted a further 60-day deferment based on his claim that he was the sole support for his parents.
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    In May 1941, the draft board in Lake County, Indiana, announced that Harmon had been classified as 1-B and deferred as a student until July 1, 1941.
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    On October 10, 1941, the New York Americans of the rival American Football League announced that they had signed Harmon to play in the final four games of the 1941 season for approximately $1,500 per game.
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    In March 1941, Harmon signed a contract with Columbia Pictures to star in a motion picture titled, "Harmon of Michigan", with filming set to commence in July 1941, after Harmon graduated from Michigan.
    More Details Hide Details The film, "Harmon of Michigan", was released later that year.
  • 1940
    Age 20
    In December 1940, Harmon was selected by the Chicago Bears with the first selection in the first round of the 1941 NFL Draft.
    More Details Hide Details However, Harmon declined to sign with the Bears, initially stating that he was through playing football and instead planned to pursue a career in radio and the movies.
    In November 1940, Michigan's equipment manager announced that Harmon's jersey number, 98, would be retired when Harmon played his last game.
    More Details Hide Details Approximately 73 years later, Michigan unretired Harmon's jersey as part of its Michigan Football Legends program. During a ceremony in September 2013, Harmon was honored as a Michigan Football Legend, and Devin Gardner was chosen as the first Michigan player since 1940 to wear the jersey.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1939
    Age 19
    He led the nation in scoring in both 1939 and 1940 (a feat that remains unmatched).
    More Details Hide Details His career average of 9.9 points per game stood as an NCAA record for ten seasons. Harmon was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1954, the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 1962, the Indiana Football Hall of Fame in 1974, and the University of Michigan Athletic Hall of Honor (as one of five inaugural inductees) in 1978. In 2007, Harmon was ranked sixteenth on ESPN's Top 25 Players In College Football list. Harmon was also ranked fifth on the Big Ten Network's program "Big Ten Icons", honoring the greatest athletes in the Big Ten Conference's history.
    He also finished second in the voting for the 1939 Heisman Trophy, garnering 405 votes while Nile Kinnick won the award with 651 votes. As a senior, Harmon started all eight games for Michigan, seven at left halfback and one at right halfback. The 1940 Michigan team compiled a 7–1 record, losing to national champion Minnesota by one point, and finished the season ranked #3 in the final AP poll.
    More Details Hide Details For the season, Harmon rushed for 844 yards on 186 carries, an average of 4.5 yards per carry and 105.5 yards per game. For the second straight year, he also led the country in scoring with 117 points on 16 touchdowns, 18 extra points and one field goal. In the opening game of the 1940 season, Michigan defeated California by a 41 to score. While celebrating his 21st birthday, Harmon scored four touchdowns, kicked four extra points, and threw a touchdown pass to David M. Nelson. Harmon's first touchdown came on the opening kickoff, which he returned 94 yards. His second touchdown came in the second quarter on a 72-yard punt return in which he reportedly dodged and swerved from one side of the field to the other, running about 100 yards before reaching the end zone. His third touchdown was on an 85-yard run in the second quarter. During the third touchdown run, a spectator jumped from the stands and ran onto the field trying to tackle Harmon. Even the twelfth man, who was escorted off the field by police, could not stop Harmon from reaching the endzone. The Associated Press wrote that Harmon found California's defense "about as strong as a wet paper bag", noted that Harmon was "as hard to snare as a greased pig", and opined that the only reason Michigan's point total was not higher was that "Michigan's first-string players ran themselves into a complete state of exhaustion."
    At the end of the 1939 season, Harmon was selected as Michigan's most valuable player, and he was a consensus pick for the 1939 College Football All-America Team, receiving first-team honors from, among others, the All-America Board, the Associated Press, Collier's Weekly, the International News Service, Liberty, Newsweek, the Sporting News, the United Press, Boys' Life, the Central Press Association, and Life.
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    His average of 108.5 yards per game was the best in the NCAA during the 1939 season, more than 20 yards higher than any other player (runner up John Polanski of Wake Forest averaged 88.2 rushing yards per game).
    More Details Hide Details He also led the nation in scoring with 102 points on 14 touchdowns, 15 extra points and one field goal. In the second game of the season, a 27–7 victory over Iowa, Harmon scored every point for Michigan, including four touchdowns and three extra points. His longest run of the day was for 91 yards. The Associated Press called it one of the most amazing individual performances seen in the Big Ten since the days of Red Grange, describing Harmon "darting, dodging and twisting up and down the chalk lines like a ballet dancer." After the game, Michigan coach Crisler praised Harmon's all-around contributions: Harmon has everything. He's best known as a runner, but I'd say his blocking and defensive work are equally good.... He has a wonderful change of pace and can dodge and cut on a dime.
    As a junior, Harmon started at the right halfback position in seven of eight games for the 1939 Michigan Wolverines.
    More Details Hide Details The Wolverines compiled a 6–2 record in 1939, with losses to Illinois and Minnesota, and were ranked #20 in the final AP poll. For the season, Harmon rushed for 868 yards on 129 carries in eight games, an average of 6.7 yards per carry.
  • 1938
    Age 18
    At the end of the 1938 season, Harmon, described as "Michigan's sophomore sensation", won first-team honors on the United Press All-Big Ten Conference team.
    More Details Hide Details Harmon and teammate, Forest Evashevski, also won first-team all-conference honors from the Associated Press, becoming the first sophomores to be so honored since 1934.
    In the final game of the 1938 season, Harmon led Michigan to an 18–0 victory over Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio, a game that was said to be the "climax of the Wolverines' return as a major gridiron power."
    More Details Hide Details Michigan had suffered four consecutive shutouts at the hands of the Buckeyes prior to the 1938 game. In the first quarter, Harmon ran for a touchdown, tallying Michigan's first points against Ohio State since 1933. In the fourth quarter, Harmon threw a 15-yard pass to Ed Frutig for Michigan's second touchdown.
    Harmon began to draw national press coverage in the fourth game of the 1938 season, as he led a second-half comeback against Yale.
    More Details Hide Details After losing to Minnesota in the third week of the season, the Wolverines trailed Yale 13–2 at halftime. Harmon set up Michigan's first touchdown with a pass to Norman Purucker in the third quarter and then led the Wolverines on their final drive late in the fourth quarter. The United Press described the game-winning drive as follows: Michigan seemed to be fighting for a hopeless cause and the hand crawled around the clock toward the end of the game. In that moment of despair for all those who cheer for Michigan, Harmon came out of nowhere to dominate the field. When the Yale line braced on its own goal, Harmon gambled by waiting patiently with the ball in his hand until John Nicholson could get free to catch the pass that meant defeat for Yale. Harmon continued to draw accolades the following week, as Michigan defeated Illinois by a 14–0 score. In the first quarter, Harmon ran for the Wolverines' first touchdown, "twisting and pushing his way the last few yards." He then "rifled" a pass to Forest Evashevski in the third quarter for Michigan's second touchdown.
    Harmon, as a sophomore, started seven of eight games at the right halfback position for the 1938 Michigan team.
    More Details Hide Details He gained 405 rushing yards, averaging more than five yards per carry, and also completed 21 of 45 passes for 310 yards with only one interception. With Crisler as the coach, Harmon in the backfield, and consensus All-American Ralph Heikkinen at the guard position, the Wolverines lost only one game, a 7–6 loss to Minnesota, and improved their record to 6–1–1.
  • 1937
    Age 17
    In November 1937, the Associated Press published a story that Tulane coach Bill Bevan had tried to lure Harmon to transfer to that school, where his older brother was a student-athlete.
    More Details Hide Details Harmon chose to remain at Michigan, leading Michigan's varsity football team to a 19–4–1 record over the next three years. In addition to football, Harmon was also a member of the Michigan Wolverines men's basketball team for two years. He majored in English and speech at Michigan, aspiring to become a sports broadcaster, and, as a junior and senior, hosted a 15-minute program on the university radio station on Fridays. In 1938, Michigan hired Fritz Crisler as its new football coach.
    He played on Michigan's freshman football team that fall, while Michigan's 1937 varsity team compiled a 4–4 record in its final season under head coach Harry Kipke.
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    Michigan athletic director Fielding H. Yost in 1937 proclaimed Harmon "the greatest high school athlete of the year."
    More Details Hide Details At the urging of his high school coach Douglass Kerr, who played end for the 1927 and 1928 Michigan Wolverines football teams, Harmon enrolled at the University of Michigan in 1937.
    Harmon attended Horace Mann High School in Gary, graduating in 1937.
    More Details Hide Details He received 14 varsity letters in 10 sports at Horace Mann. He won the Indiana state championship both in the 100-yard dash and 220-yard low hurdles and won the national interscholastic scoring championship in football with 150 points. He ran the 100-yard dash in 9.9 seconds (half a second slower than Jesse Owens' world record) and 220-yard low hurdles in 22.6 seconds. He was also a star basketball player and threw two no-hitters as a pitcher in AAU baseball.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1930
    Age 10
    At the time of the 1930 U.S. Census, the family was living at 578 Van Buren in Gary, where Harmon's father was employed as a real estate salesman, and his mother was employed as a clerk for the Census Bureau.
    More Details Hide Details Harmon's three older brothers all excelled in athletics before him: Harold was a track star at Purdue University; Louis played basketball at Purdue; and Eugene was the captain of Tulane University's basketball team.
  • 1919
    Born
    Harmon was born in 1919 at the family home at 118 South Weston Street in Rensselaer, Indiana.
    More Details Hide Details He is the son of Illinois natives Rose Marie (née Quinn) and Louis A. Harmon (1873–1948), a real estate agent. Harmon had five older siblings, Louella, Harold, Mary, Louis, and Eugene, all born in Indiana. His maternal grandparents were Irish, while his father was of French and German descent. In 1924, the family moved to Gary, Indiana.
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