Lamar HuntLamar Hunt, born August 2, 1932 in El Dorado, Arkansas, is one of the most influential sportsmen in the United States.
The son of oil tycoon, H. L. Hunt, Lamar Hunt is a 1956 graduate of Southern Methodist University with a B.S. degree in geology. A college football player and avid sports enthusiast, in 1959 he applied for an NFL expansion franchise. Refused, Hunt helped organize the American Football League. Lamar Hunt had a dream . . . to bring professional football to Texas and to American markets that had a yearning for the game in places other than the traditional Northeast. In fulfilling that dream, Hunt gave life to the league that was the genesis of modern professional football: the American Football League.
As his head coach of the Dallas Texans/Kansas City Chiefs for the entire ten-year history of the AFL, he chose Hall-of-Famer-to-be Hank Stram. Hunt encouraged, entreated, wheedled, and cajoled seven other forward-thinking men to form a league that would forever leave its mark on American sport. The excellence of his team forced others in the league to compete to meet his high standards. Hunt and his AFL associates signed some of the best players ever to play the game, and brought new ideas, excitement, and color to AFL cities while other "pro football" towns watched "three yards and a cloud of dust".
Before his team capped off the league's existence with a crushing victory over a hugely favored opponent, it was Hunt who approved the ten-year AFL patch they wore, commemorating the ten years of excellence of the American Football League. AFL fans appreciate Lamar Hunt for his foresight and perseverance. He became the first American Football League personage to be inducted into the "pro football" hall of fame in 1972.
In 1967, Lamar Hunt co-founded the World Championship Tennis circuit, which gave birth to the open era in tennis. He was made a member of the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1993.
For his efforts in building the sport of soccer in the United States in the modern era, Hunt was inducted into the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame in 1982.
He was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 1984, and is a member of the American Football League Hall of Fame.