Clyde “Bulldog” Turner
Pro Football Player, 1940
Once called the “toughest football player ever,” Clyde “Bulldog” Turner was born March 30, 1919 in Plains, Texas. He attended Newman High School in Sweetwater, Texas and entered Hardin-Simmons University, where he started as HSU’s star center and linebacker. He earned the title of “Associated Press Little All-America,” and “New York Sun All-America” in 1939. In 1940, Turner was the first “small college” player to play in the College All-Star Game.
Bulldog Turner caught the eye of an NFL scout in 1940 and, at twenty years old, became the number one draft pick of the Chicago Bears. Bulldog, who began his career under the legendary coach George Halas, soon proved to be one of the very best center-linebackers to ever play in the NFL. After just one season, Turner was named the NFL’s official all-league center in 1941. He won this honor five more times in the following seven years. As a flawless ball-snapper and an exceptional blocker, he was known as one of the smartest players in the league. He led the NFL with eight interceptions in 1942.
During his career, he anchored four NFL championship teams and intercepted four passes in five NFL title games. Bulldog Turner played for the Bears for thirteen years. He was a player-coach in 1952, a full-time assistant for the Bears through 1956 and head coach of the New York Titans of the American football League in 1962. The Chicago Bears retired Turner’s jersey number. In 1966, Bulldog Turner was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Turner married his wife, Gladys Webber, in 1947. They were married more than forty years. After his retirement, he moved to Gatesville, Texas, where he lived on his ranch until his death on October 30, 1998.
Inducted on April 5, 2002.