ROBERT IRSAY (Deceased)
Inducted: July 11, 1997 in Indianapolis, IN (Posthumously)
Date of Birth: March 5, 1923 in Chicago, IL
High School Attended: Chicago, IL Graduated: 1941
College Attended: University of Illinois
College Honors: Earned a degree in mechanical engineering
Professional Athletic Background: Became owner of the Baltimore Colts in July, 1972, when he traded the Los Angeles Rams for the Colts franchise; he moved the Colts franchise to Indianapolis on March 8, 1984, establishing the tradition of NFL football in Indiana, a state that has produced numerous players who have reached the National Football League.
Colts Accomplishments: AFC Eastern Division titles in 1975, 1976, 1977 while in Baltimore; AFC Eastern Division title in 1987 in Indianapolis; reached the championship game in 1996.
Special Recognition: Mr. Irsay was an outstanding corporate and private citizen by establishing the NFL tradition in Indiana, founding the NFL tradition in the city of Indianapolis, and being an active supporter of many charitable organizations in Indianapolis. Those sentiments were echoed often during his tenure of Colts ownership over the next 13 years. The Colts captured the attention of all football followers in 1995 by winning road play-off games at San Diego (35-20) and Kansas City (10-7) to earn the right to meet Pittsburgh for the AFC Championship. A native of the "Bucktown" section of Chicago, he joined the US Marines in 1942, joined his father's business in 1946, and founded the Robert Irsay Company of Skokie, IL, in 1952. Mr. Irsay was particularly proud to have his son, Jim, follow his interest in football and the Colts franchise.
Mr. Irsay died January 14, 1997.