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  • De Benneville "Bert" Bell was the National Football League commissioner from 1945 until his death in 1959. As commissioner, he introduced competitive parity into the NFL to improve the league's commercial viability and promote its popularity, and he helped make the NFL the most financially sound sports enterprise and preeminent sports attraction in the United States. He was posthumously inducted into the charter class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Bell played football at the University of Pennsylvania, where as quarterback, he led his team to an appearance in the 1917 Rose Bowl. After being drafted into the US Army during World War I, he returned to complete his collegiate career at Penn and went on to become an assistant football coach with the Quakers in the 1920s. During the Great Depression, he was an assistant coach for the Temple Owls and a co-founder and co-owner of the Philadelphia Eagles. With the Eagles, Bell led the way in cooperating with the other NFL owners to establish the National Football League Draft in order to afford the weakest teams the first opportunity to sign the best available players.

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