Walter Chauncey Camp

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Walter Chauncey Camp

Birthdate: (65)
Birthplace: New Britain, Hartford County, Connecticut, United States
Death: Died in New York, New York County, New York, United States
Place of Burial: Wallingford, New Haven County, Connecticut, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Leverett Lee Camp and Ellen Camp
Husband of Alice Graham Camp
Father of Walter Chauncey Camp, Jr and Janet Troxell

Occupation: Professional Football Coach
Managed by: Eldon Clark (C)
Last Updated:

About Walter Chauncey Camp

Professional Football Coach. He is known as the "Father of American Football." Among his creations are the play from scrimmage, the numerical assessment of goals and tries, the restriction of eleven team players per side, the adoption of the forward pass, and other strategies for the game. Born in New Haven, Connecticut, he attended Hopkins Grammar School there and entered Yale University in 1876. A naturally athletic young man, he was a good swimmer and runner. During his teen years, he disciplined himself with a strict regimen of physical training and calisthenics to become an outstanding athlete. From 1876 to 1880, he played on the varsity Football team of Yale University, serving three years as its Captain. Under his leadership in 1879, the Yale Bulldogs won 25 victories, 1 defeat, and 6 ties. Following his graduation from Yale, he began working for the New Haven Clock Company, beginning with salesman, and working his way up the management ladder to become President and Chairman of the Board of Directors. However, he never lost his love for the game of Football, and he became Yale's first football coach, from 1880 until 1910 (in those days, coaching was a part-time position; coaches were unpaid and expected to earn a living with a real job, just as players were expected to take a real course of study). He helped establish the National Collegiate Athletic Association, which governed college football, and served on the rules committee from his college days until his death. In 1906, as the chairman of the American Football Rules Committee, Camp helped adopt new rules that changed the game where brute strength was everything to a game where skill became more important. The adoption of the forward pass would rewrite the game and make it popular. During these years, Camp would write nearly 30 books and 250 magazine articles on the sport, with his stories appearing in national periodicals of the day and in major city newspapers. Camp was considered instrumental in attaching an almost mythical atmosphere of manliness and heroism to the game, not previously felt in any American sport. Camp is credited with giving needed direction to American college football during the period when the sport was growing most rapidly. A believer in physical fitness for all ages, he developed the Daily Dozen, a series of exercises for people of all ages that were adopted into the US Army. About 1889, the concept of an All America Team came into being, and both Camp and editor Caspar Whitney of the weekly magazine "The Week's Sport" are credited with the idea (both men gave the other man the credit). But by 1899, the concept was so extremely popular that it had become a near mania, and after 1899 Camp continued to pick the members of the All America Team until his death in 1925, when famed sportswriter Grantland Rice took over the duties. Harold "Red" Grange, the famous University of Illinois Coach once stated "Camp was the No. 1 name in football; if you weren't on the Camp (All America) Team, it didn't mean a thing." Walter Camp passed away in New Haven, Connecticut. (bio by: [fg.cgi?page=mr&MRid=46483611" target="_blank Kit and Morgan Benson)] Maintained by: Find A Grave Record added: Jan 01, 2001

Find A Grave Memorial# 165

The Father of American Football---

On April 7, 1859 in New Britain, Connecticut, Walter Chauncy Camp was born. Walter Camp is deemed "The Father of American Football" due to his significant contributions to the game, his 50 year span in supervising the growth of football, and his numerous articles on football which covered his suggestions in improving and modifying the game. Camp's influence in football has been so significant that some researchers have said he should be credited for almost single-handedly forging modern football.

Before Camp's contributions shaped modern football, rugby was the most popular form of football during this time.

Camp was a member of many important collegiate football committees in his 50 year career, thus his contributions were quickly inputted

The differences between modern football and rugby are highlighted below, thanks to Camp's suggestions.

Changes in Modern Football---

Changes in rugby by Camp would eventually evolve into the modern football we enjoy today:


1) Replacement of rugby's scrum, with scrimmage.

2) Instead of 15 players in rugby there are 11 in football.

3) The forward pass was inputted.

4) A system of downs for ball advancement is made. The systems is 4 downs per 10 yards.

5) Formation of a structured offensive player arrangement. This consists of a fullback, two halfbacks, and a quarterback.

6) Camp came up with the "safety", which entails that by tackling a ball carrier in his own end zone, two points are awarded to the defensive opposing team which tackled him

Proliferating his Ideas---

Camp knew that to have his ideas popularize and catch on, it needed to be spread. To achieve this he took up a full time job at a clock company, and worked for free with the Yale football team as an active advisor.

Camp's approach to football, and the spreading of his ideas was glorifying it as a pure manly sport, that shaped young men's ideals, morals, and masculinity. His lectures, and articles on football attracted many, and at the end of his career he had written about 250 magazine articles, and 30 books.

Even though his career started modestly working in a clock company, and unpaid football advisor, Camp's writing was significant to spreading modern football, earning him a prominent place in American nonfiction writing.

Success and Later Life----

Camp's popularity during his 50 year career prospered greatly. His writings popularizing modern football was gaining great attention, and he soon was branching into other writing areas such as fitness.

Camper's affiliation with Yale dissolved later in his career, and he began working with Stanford. HIs writing branched into fitness, now becoming his other topic of expertise. Through his large portfolio of esteemed articles on football, fitness and nonfiction work, it is no surpise he became one of the highest paid nonfiction writers in America.

Camper's life showcases the diligence of a man's 50 year career in the sport that he supported, and crafted into one of America's favorite sports. He will always be known as "The Father of American Football"

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Walter Chauncey Camp's Timeline

April 7, 1859
New Britain, Hartford County, Connecticut, United States
February 19, 1891
Age 31
New Haven, New Haven County, Connecticut, United States
Age 37
March 14, 1925
Age 65
New York, New York County, New York, United States
Wallingford, New Haven County, Connecticut, United States