Name: Austin Gunsel
Commissioner: 1959-1960
Born: May 4, 1903
Died: June 17, 1974
Occupations: FBI Special Agent

Austin Gunsel

NFL Commissioner 1959-1960

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Profile: A native of Irvington, New Jersey and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Austin Gunsel joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1939. He served as both J. Edgar Hoover’s administrative assistant and as a special agent for the Bureau, and during his crime-fighting career, served in the New York, Detroit and Chicago field offices.

In 1952, Gunsel was hired by the NFL to head the league’s investigative department, a move made in response to commissioner Bert Bell’s fear of a scandal damaging the league’s image. Gunsel became league treasurer in 1956, holding the post until his retirement ten years later.

In January 1960 at a meeting of NFL owners, he was the early frontrunner to retain the commissioner’s job, but Los Angeles Rams General Manager Pete Rozelle was ultimately elected to the post on January 26th after 23 ballots.

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