By Chris Willis, NFL Films
|Dr. James F. King, Grandson of Ralph Hay|
(Courtesy: Chris Willis)
|Ralph Hay, Owner of Canton Bulldogs (1919-1922) |
(Courtesy: of King Family)
Over the years I have been able to pick King's brain to learn more about his grandfather. Ralph Hay was a pivotal figure in the founding of the NFL, so I wanted to learn more about the man. Every time I talked to him I learned something new. This past April I was able to sit down with Dr. King and ask more questions. I interviewed him for over an hour. He was always warm, toughtful, interesting and passionate.
When I first met Dr. King he told me one of his favorite stories. He loved talking about Jim Thorpe, one of his grandfather's closest friends. He first told me how his middle name was the same as Thorpe. James Francis King. He also told me about how Thorpe would visit the family in Canton and how Thorpe would babysit him. He showed me a photo of himself as a young baby being held by Thorpe. He kept this photo in his wallet for decades.
|Jim Thorpe, holding Dr. James King|
(Courtesy: King Family)
My thoughts and prayers are with his wife and family. I will miss my friend, Dr. James F. King. But I will not forget him or his generosity to others.
Dr. James King Obituary Canton Repository