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Gifford, Frank (16 Aug. 1930–9 Aug. 2015), professional football player and broadcaster, was born Frank Newton Gifford in Santa Monica, California, the youngest of three children of Weldon Wayne Gifford, an oil and shipyards worker, and Lola Mae (Hawkins) Gifford.

Frank was a shy boy whose lisp made him self-conscious. His family moved through Depression-era trailer camps, hunting work. Football bolstered his confidence, and the sport became his lifelong identity. He was co-captain of the Bakersfield High School Drillers, who became San Joaquin Valley football champions in ...

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Red Grange. Red Grange [second from right], signing a movie contract, with his manager, Charles C. Pyle, standing alongside. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-105233).

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Grange, Red (13 June 1903–28 January 1991), football player, coach, and broadcaster, was born Harold Edward Grange in Forksville, Pennsylvania, the son of Lyle Grange, a lumber camp foreman, and Sadie Sherman. When Grange’s mother died in 1908, his father moved the family, which included Red’s older sisters and his three-year-old brother, to Wheaton, Illinois, where the elder Grange had grown up. Years later, Red, as he was nicknamed because of his auburn hair, recalled that “at first I missed Forksville terribly,” but as time passed he realized that Wheaton “offered a more civilized way of life.”...

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Villanueva, Danny D. (5 Nov. 1937–18 June 2015), professional athlete, sports broadcaster, media entrepreneur, and philanthropist, was born Daniel Dario Villanueva in Tucumcari, New Mexico, the ninth child (out of twelve) of Primitivo and Pilar Villanueva. His Mexican-born father and mother had immigrated to the United States in the 1920s. Primitivo, an itinerant Methodist minister, was reassigned to a new ministry in Phoenix, Arizona shortly after Daniel’s birth. After moving the family there he would later move to Calexico, California. There, in the borderlands of Greater Mexico, Danny Villanueva spent most of his childhood years....