Ralph Keyes collection on Robert "Tiny" Maxwell
Scope and Contents
Ralph Keyes is an author, speaker and teacher. His 16 books deal with topics ranging from time pressure to human height. Keyes’s bestseller Is There Life After High School? was made into a Broadway musical. Keyes has also written hundreds of articles and essays.
- circa 1890-2015
- Majority of material found within circa 1984
- Keyes, Ralph (Person)
Limitations on Accessing the Collection
Copyright and Rights Information
Biographical / Historical
Born in Chicago in 1884, Tiny Maxwell became a star athlete at the University of Chicago, where he played football, boxed, and set school records for the hammer and shot-put. In 1904 he transferred to Swarthmore, where President Joseph Swain directed the college treasurer to send his tuition bills to a member of the Board of Managers. At Swarthmore, Maxwell was a member of the Mandolin Club and acted in student plays. Maxwell attended for two years and studied biology but did not graduate.
In 1905, Maxwell took a particularly brutal beating during a Swarthmore vs. University of Pennsylvania football game. Legend has it that a photograph of his bruised and bloody visage inspired Theodore Roosevelt to make the ultimatum that college football must implement new safety rules or he would abolish it. It is true that soon after the Swarthmore-Penn football game, Theodore Roosevelt gathered college representatives to the White House for conversations that culminated in the formation of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. However, recent scholars have argued that the story about Maxwell's photograph prompting this action is apocryphal.
After Maxwell left Swarthmore, he went to play for the Massillon Tigers, an early professional football team that was based in Massillon, Ohio. In 1909 he returned to the Philadelphia area and served as assistant coach at Swarthmore and then at the University of Pennsylvania. At the same time Maxwell enrolled at Jefferson Medical College, where again, he played football for two years and did not graduate.
In 1914, after a journalistic apprenticeship in Chicago as a reporter for the Record-Herald, he began writing a sports column for Philadelphia's Public Ledger. Two years later, Maxwell became sports editor of the Evening Public Ledger, a position he held until he died in a car accident in 1922.
Since 1937, the Maxwell Memorial Football Club of Philadelphia annually has given an award in his name to the outstanding college football player in the nation. He was inducted into the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame in the pioneer category in 1974.
.63 Linear Feet (2 boxes)
Immediate Source of Acquisition
- Celia Caust-Ellenbogen
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
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Swarthmore Pennsylvania 19081 USA