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Memorable Manitobans: Thomas Ray “Tom” Casey (1924-2002)

Football player.

Born at Wellsville, Ohio on 30 July 1924, son of a railway mechanic, he attended high school in Pennsylvania then received a BSc degree from Hampton University (Hampton, Virginia). He served for two years in the US Navy before coming to Canada for play football with the Hamilton Wildcats (1949). He moved to Winnipeg in 1950 where he helped to build dikes during a catastrophic flood. He attended medical school at the University of Manitoba while playing for six seasons (1950-1956) with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, being named a divisional all-star each year.

During his residence in Winnipeg, he was active in the community, encouraging youth to participate in sports and helping in safety campaigns and Community Chest drives. In December 1955, the Winnipeg Tribune named him its Citizen of the Year. After interning in Winnipeg hospitals for a year, he moved to England to study neurology then returned to the USA and settled in Connecticut. In 1976, he began working as a physician for General Electric, rising to become its medical director and corporate vice-president. He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame (1964), the first African-American player to be so, as well as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Hall of Fame (1984) and Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame (1993).

He died in Connecticut on 10 October 2002.


“Modest athlete citizen of year,” Winnipeg Tribune, 31 December 1955, page 1.

“Blue Bomber the first Black Hall of Famer,” Winnipeg Free Press, 20 February 2021, page E1.

Tom Casey, Wikipedia.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 21 February 2021

Memorable Manitobans

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