- Charlie Smith (Canton Bulldogs)
Charlie Smith Place of birth Lansing, Michigan Date of death Unknown Position(s) Tackle College Michigan State University Teams 1915 Canton Bulldogs
Gideon "Charlie" Smith was an American football player. He was a tackle, who played just one game for the Canton Bulldogs of the Ohio League, becoming one of the first African-Americans to play professional football. He played for the Bulldogs as a late fourth-quarter substitute on November 28, 1915 against their rivials, the Massillon Tigers. During that game he made a game-saving fumble recovery that preserved a 6-0 Canton victory over the Tigers for the "state championship." Smith was the last African-American to play professional football exclusively prior to the formation of the National Football League.
Prior to playing pro football, Smith played college football for Michigan Agricultural College (now called Michigan State University). In 1913, Spartans coach John Macklin allowed Smith to become the school's first black football player. Smith is thought to be the second black to play major-college football (Minnesota's Bobby Marshall was the first, in 1904).
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- Joe Horrigan. "Early Black Professional". Coffin Corner (Professional Football Researchers Association): 1–6. http://www.profootballresearchers.org/Coffin_Corner/07-An-247.pdf.
- Drew Sharp. "Michigan State's Great Legacy In 100 Years Of Football". Seattle Times (Knight-Ridder Newspapers): 1–6. http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19960922&slug=2350468.
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