1983 Horatio Alger Award Winner
"Don't follow the crowd. Be your own person and believe in something."
The son of an auto mechanic, Tom Landry was born in Mission, Texas, in 1924. A star fullback in high school, Landry enrolled in college, then entered the Air Force and flew 30 B-17 missions during World War II. He returned to college and earned two degrees, one from the University of Texas and one from the University of Houston. He played professional football as a defensive back with the New York Giants for five years, ending his career with 32 interceptions in only 80 games. In 1956, he became the defensive coordinator for the Giants, and in 1960 became the first head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, where he stayed for 29 seasons. Under his leadership, the Cowboys went to the Super Bowl five times and won two Super Bowl titles. As a coach, he was ranked third with the most wins in the NFL. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990.* Deceased