Jun. 11, 1930 Fort Wayne Allen County Indiana, USA
Dec. 14, 1983 Edmonton Alberta, Canada
Professional Football Player. Member of the College Football Hall of Fame, the Edmonton Sports Hall of Fame, the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and the Edmonton Eskimo Football Club Wall of Honor. As a football player at Drake University, he became the first sophomore in history to lead the nation in total offense and did so again as a junior. In the fall of 1951, he was ahead of his previous year's record pace and a leading contender for the Heisman Trophy. A controversial play in a game against Oklahoma A&M resulted in his receiving a broken jaw and impeded his quest. This event was captured on film and became known as the "Johnny Bright Incident." It earned the 1952 Pulitzer Prize for Photography for John Robinson and Don Ultang of the Des Moines “Register” staff. A first-round pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1952, he became the first such draftee to decline a National Football League offer in favor of the Canadian Football League. He also enjoyed success as a coach, educator, school administrator and community servant. He died of cardiac arrest during anesthesia for elective knee surgery. He is the subject of a biographical novel, "Johnny Bright, Champion."