Gottlieb, Art : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Gottlieb, Art

Arthur Gottlieb

Gottlieb played football at Rutgers University in the late 1930s and then played in the AFL (American Football League) in 1940.

Birth and Death Dates:
b. 1918 - d. January 13, 1965

Career Highlights:
Gottlieb played for Rutgers in the late 1930s. In 1938, Rutgers dedicated the original Rutgers Stadium. In the dedication game, the Scarlet Knights faced Princeton, who they had not beaten since 1869, when the two schools inaugurated American football. A football writer wrote, "Over them hung the most grotesque hoodoo in the history of football."

After Princeton jumped out to a 6-0 lead, Gottlieb returned the ensuing kickoff to the Princeton 40-yard line and then completed a pass to the Tiger 8-yard line. Rutgers scored to take a 7-6 lead, but Princeton stormed back with two second quarter touchdowns to retake the lead, 18-7. After Rutgers cut the deficit to 18-13, Gottlieb threw a fourth down touchdown pass with less than five minutes to play to give the Scarlet Knights a 20-18 win!

That season, Gottlieb was named AP All-East honorable mention as the Scarlet Knights had a terrific season, with a record of 7-1-0, at the time, the best in school history. In 1939, Art was named All-Middle Three first team as Rutgers finished with a record of 7-1-1.

After his college career, Art played one season of professional football. In 1940, he played for the Buffalo Indians of the American Football League. It was the third league in less than fifteen years under the name AFL to attempt to challenge the supremacy of the NFL. The Indians were the first professional team in Buffalo since the NFL's Bisons had folded in 1929.

After losing the first game of the season, there was still hope as the Olean Times Herald wrote, "John Stylianos, former Temple star, and Art Gottlieb, Rutgers ace, are rated two of the greatest passers in major professional football today. Working in alternate backfields, these two slinging specialists are constant threats when the Indians move on the offense." Gottlieb and the Indians defeated the Cincinnati Bengals, 17-7, in the next game of the year, but then lost their next seven. They Indians finished the season with a record of 2-8-0, fifth place in the league.

The AFL did not fare much better than the Buffalo franchise and folded following the 1941 season. Like the two previous AFLs (which had no relation to this one), it could not compete with the NFL due to lack of finances and low attendance.


Career Dates:
Gottlieb played as a back at Rutgers University from 1937-1939. He then played as a quarterback, fullback, and halfback in the AFL with the Buffalo Indians in 1940.

Physical description:
5'11", 180 pounds

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The Encyclopedia of Football, by Roger Treat (New York: A.S. Barnes and Co., 1976 -- 14th Edition)
encyclopedia of JEWS in sports by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)