Weiss, Sammy : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Weiss, Sammy

Samuel Arthur Weiss

Weiss was the first Jew to captain the football team at Duquesne College and was an NFL quarterback in the 1920s. He later became a judge and member of the U.S. Congress.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. April 15, 1902 - d. February 1, 1977

Career Highlights:
Born in Poland, Weiss and his family emigrated to the United States when he was a year-old. They settled in Glassport, Pennsylvania and Sammy attended Duquesne University. In 1924, Weiss was captain and quarterback of the Tri-State College All-Star Team, and was also the the first Jew to captain the Catholic school's football team. Named to the Duquesne All-Time Team, Weiss played quarterback professionally with his hometown team, the Glassport Odds in the mid-1920s.

While still in college, Weiss began to officiate high school games. He joined the NFL as a referee in 1942 and served as Deputy Commissioner of the league from 1942-1950. Weiss became a lawyer and later a judge, and also officiated games while a he was a member of Congress; he served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1941-1946. Sammy, who originally attended Duquesne on an "informal scholarship," generously supported the university as Judge Weiss. Weiss was among the inaugural class inducted into Duquesne's Hall of Fame in 1963.

Warsaw, Poland

Career Dates:
Weiss played quarterback at Duquesne University from 1921-1924. He then played pro ball with the Glassport Odds from 1925-1926.

Physical description:
5'4", 145 pounds

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encyclopedia of JEWS in sports by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)