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Duke Slater

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Duke Slater      Iowa Wikipedia 

Position(s): OL

HIGH SCHOOL: Duke Slater attended Clinton High School and lived in or near Clinton, Iowa. When he was 13 years old, he moved to Clinton, where they claimed two Iowa state championships in 1913 and 1914, and the school compiled a 22-3-1 record in his three years playing there.

COLLEGE: He played at Iowa from 1918 to 1921. When he arrived in 1918, eligibility rules had been suspended due to World War I. Therefore, he was able to play football as a freshman. Playing the tackle position on the line, he was a first team All-American in 1921 and a member of the Hawkeyes’ 1921 national championship team.

PROFESSIONAL: He joined the NFL’s Rock Island Independents in 1922, becoming the first black lineman in NFL history. He was a three-time all-NFL selection with Rock Island from 1923-1925, and was named first team all-pro by the Chicago Tribune in 1926. In his five seasons with the Independents, he played all sixty minutes of every game in which he appeared. He signed a contract with the NFL’s Chicago Cardinals near the end of the 1926 season, and thus became the first African-American to play for a current NFL franchise. He played more seasons (10), played in more games (99), started more games (96), and had more all-pro selections (seven) than any other African-American player in the NFL from 1920-1945. He was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame in 1951 and was named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Centennial Class in 2020.

OTHER: He earned his law degree in 1928 and began to practice law as a Chicago attorney. In 1948, he was elected to the Cook County Municipal Court, becoming just the second African-American judge in Chicago history. He served as a Chicago judge for nearly two decades until his death in 1966.

Born 12/9/1898 and died on 8/14/1966 at the age of 67.

All Conference: First Team (1919, 1920 and 1921) All American: 2nd Team (1919), First Team (1921) U of Iowa Athletics Hall of Fame College Football Hall of Fame 7 time Pro Bowler NFL Hall of Fame 



Duke Slater: Pioneering Black NFL Player and Judge Duke Slater: Pioneering Black NFL Player and Judge (7/11/2012)
Fred 'Duke' Slater was the greatest African American football player of the first half of the 20th century. Born into poverty, he developed into a two-time All-American tackle at the University of Iowa from 1918 to 1921. When the College Football Hall of Fame opened decades later, Duke was the only African American elected in the inaugural class. He then became the first black lineman in National Football League history in 1922, embarking on a remarkable ten-year career in the NFL.

Incredibly, Slater was the only African American in the entire NFL for most of the late 1920s, yet he was widely recognized as one of the League's best linemen. But his pioneering influence extended beyond the gridiron. After retirement, he broke ground in the legal field as just the second black judge in Chicago history. On the field or on the bench, the inspirational life of Judge Duke Slater is a true American success story.

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Duke Slater - Iowa Hawkeyes Player Profile | Football - Summary of Iowa football and basketball games