Adelman, Ollie : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Adelman, Ollie

Albert Adelman

The epitome of a student-athlete, Adelman played on both the football and tennis teams at Northwestern University. During his college days, he worked as a correspondant for a Milwaukee newspaper before earning an athletic scholarship prior to his senior season. As a senior, Adelman was a member of the Senior Honorary Fraternity, a member of the editorial board of the Daily Northwestern, and a member of the student governing body. That year, he also represented Northwestern in the National Oratorical Contest, where he spoke about the psychological effects of football on young men both while in school and after. In 1948, Frank Lloyd Wright, the famous architect, designed a house for Adelman in Milwaukee.

Birth and Death Dates:

Career Highlights:
Born in Milwaukee, Adelman was the son of dry-cleaning businessman Benjamin Adelman. Described as an elusive back, Ollie played college ball for Northwestern University, and In 1934 and 1935, Adelman and the Wildcats had a combined record of 7-8-1, ending the 1935 season with four consecutive victories.

Adelman helped Northwestern win the school's first Big Ten title as the Wildcats won 11 consecutive games during the 1935 and 1936 seasons, still a school record. In 1936, they won their first seven games, including a 6-0 win over the defending National Champions, Minnesota. In the final game of the year, Northwestern lost to Notre Dame, 26-6. In a strange turn of events, Northwestern won the school's first outright Big Ten title (they tied for first in 1930) by going 6-0-0 in conference (with Minnesota in second), but in the final national ranking, the Wildcats finished No. 7 while Minnesota won the National Championship (it was the first year of the AP poll).

In 1937, Adelman received the Big Ten Conference Medal of Honor as the "student demonstrating the greatest proficiency in scholarship and athletics." That year, he also helped lead the Wildcats to the divisional Big Ten tennis title. In February 1999, Adelman was inducted into the Northwestern University Athletic Hall of Fame.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Career Dates:
Ollie played as a back at Northwestern University from 1934-1936.

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encyclopedia of JEWS in sports by Bernard Postal, Jesse Silver, and Roy Silver (New York: Bloch Publishing Co., 1965)
Chicago Tribune, August 5, 1936