George Halas was at the center of the creation of an NFL Series of games in Chicago to raise relief funds for the benefit of the armed forces. The annual Armed Forces Benefit Games began in 1946 and continued through 1970. The Harold American sponsored the games in 1946-1947; the Sun-Times from 1949-1954; and four newspapers thereafter, namely the American, Daily News, Sun-Times and Tribune who were all members of the Chicago Newspaper Publishing Association. The outstanding player of the game was awarded the Eisenhower Trophy. The games were approved formally in a meeting in Washington that was attended by George Halas; Ralph Cannon of the Herald American; Dwight D. Eisenhower, then Army Chief of Staff; Admiral Chester Nimitz; and General Carl Spaatz.
Newspapers were a direct means to reach out to teams and programs for participants and to promote attendance. They often took a leading role in such programs. Well known military leaders with a sports background were also asked to lend their names and support to such programs. Dwight Eisenhower had played football at West Point Military Academy and the Eisenhower Trophy was a fitting name for the Armed Forces Benefit Game Award.
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