Old Emlen Tunnell Drawing
Portrait by Jim Corcoran

Emlen “Em” Tunnell was an inspirational and adventurous figure who became a war hero and a professional football player—helping improve race relations in America in the process.

Emlen was a “Jackie Robinson-type leader” in the NFL, one of the first black players to be confronted with, and overcome, the indignity and injustice of racism in our country, on a national stage. Emlen was also the most successful black football star of his era, the first African American to be enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Lombardi and Tunnell with Names
Copyright © 2019 David Lyons