Bruce Smith (halfback)

Bruce Phillip Smith (February 8, 1920 – August 28, 1967), nicknamed "Boo", was an American football player best known for winning the Heisman Trophy in 1941.

Smith was born in Faribault, Minnesota, where he excelled in high school football under the coach Win Brockmeyer at Faribault High School. The football field at Faribault High is now named after him. He attended the University of Minnesota, playing halfback for the back-to-back national champion Gophers in 1940 and 1941. Smith was captain of the 1941 Minnesota team. He received the Heisman two days after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Smith earned first team All-American and All-Big Ten Conference honors in 1941.

During World War II, he served as a United States Navy fighter pilot. After the war, he briefly played in the National Football League (NFL) with the Green Bay Packers (1945–1948) and the Los Angeles Rams (1948).

The movie Smith of Minnesota[1] was released in 1942. The premiere occurred in his home town of Faribault, Minnesota, to the amazement of the locals due to this novelty. However, laughter was heard in the movie house when certain advanced technologies, for that time (direct-dial phones, streetlights, etc.) were seen as part of the scenery—courtesy of being filmed in Hollywood, California.

Smith was diagnosed with cancer in the spring of 1967, and he spent the next several months visiting young cancer patients with the Rev. William Cantwell. Smith lost over half his body weight before succumbing to the disease. Cantwell, who was unfamiliar with Smith's sports achievements, nominated Smith for sainthood.

In 1972,[2] Smith was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. His number 54 was the first to be officially retired by the Minnesota Gophers in 1977.[3]

Bruce Smith
Bruce Smith (halfback)
Personal information
Born:February 8, 1920
Faribault, Minnesota
Died:August 28, 1967 (aged 47)
Alexandria, Minnesota
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:197 lb (89 kg)
Career information
NFL Draft:1942 / Round: 13 / Pick: 119
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR


  1. ^ Smith of Minnesota
  2. ^ College Football Hall of Fame: Bruce "Boo" Smith biography
  3. ^ Bruce Smith biography

External links

1941 Big Ten Conference football season

The 1941 Big Ten Conference football season was the 46th season of college football played by the member schools of the Big Ten Conference (also known as the Western Conference) and was a part of the 1941 college football season.

The 1941 Minnesota Golden Gophers football team, led by head coach Bernie Bierman, compiled a perfect 8–0 record, led the conference in both scoring offense and scoring defense, was ranked No. 1 in the final AP Poll, and won the program's second consecutive national championship. Halfback Bruce Smith was a consensus All-American and won the 1941 Heisman Trophy. Tackle Dick Wildung was also a consensus first-team All-American.

Michigan, under head coach Fritz Crisler, compiled a 6–1–1 record, outscored opponents 147 to 41, and was ranked No. 5 in the final AP Poll. Fullback Bob Westfall was selected as a consensus first-team player on the 1941 College Football All-America Team.

Ohio State, under head coach Paul Brown, compiled a 6–1–1 record, outscored opponents 167 to 110, and was ranked No. 13 in the final AP Poll.

1941 College Football All-America Team

The 1941 College Football All-America team is composed of college football players who were selected as All-Americans by various organizations and writers that chose College Football All-America Teams in 1941. The nine selectors recognized by the NCAA as "official" for the 1941 season are (1) Collier's Weekly, as selected by Grantland Rice, (2) the Associated Press, (3) the United Press, (4) the All-America Board, (5) the International News Service (INS), (6) Liberty magazine, (7) the Newspaper Enterprise Association (NEA), (8) Newsweek, and (9) the Sporting News.

Harvard center Endicott Peabody, who won the 1941 Knute Rockne Award, was the only player to be unanimously named to the first team of all nine official selectors. Dick Wildung of Minnesota and Bob Westfall of Michigan each received eight official first-team designations. Bruce Smith of Minnesota won the 1941 Heisman Trophy and received seven official first-team nominations.

1942 Green Bay Packers season

The 1942 Green Bay Packers season was their 24th season overall and their 22nd season in the National Football League. The club posted an 8–2–1 record under coach Curly Lambeau, earning a second-place finish in the Western Conference.

Bruce Smith

Bruce Smith may refer to:

Bruce Smith (defensive end) (born 1963), retired American football player; holds the NFL record for most career quarterback sacks

Bruce Smith (halfback) (1920–1967), American football player, nicknamed "Boo," winner of the 1941 Heisman Trophy

Bruce Smith (Australian footballer) (born 1944), Australian rules footballer for Richmond

Bruce Smith (Australian politician) (1851–1937), member of the Australian House of Representatives

Bruce Smith (Ontario politician), former member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario

Bruce Smith (musician), former drummer with The Pop Group

Bruce Smith (poet) (born 1946), American poet

Bruce Smith (rugby union) (born 1959), New Zealand rugby union player

Bruce Atherton Smith (1937–2006), former member of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick

Bruce D. Smith (born 1946), archaeologist and curator at Smithsonian Institution

Bruce I. Smith (born 1934), Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Bruce W. Smith (born 1961), African-American animator, film director, and television producer

Bruce Smith (Canadian football) (1949–2013), Canadian football player

Bruce Lannes Smith (1909–1987), American political scientist and communication theorist


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