Johnny "Chief" Bender 1904 Signed Photo PSA DNA University of Nebraska 1/1


Rare 1904 Signed Photograph of University of Nebraska Cornhuskers football player Johnny R. “Chief” Bender posing in his uniform.

The photograph is signed “J.R. Bender, Univ. of Neb, 1904” near the lower right corner.

Bender was a star athlete at Nebraska and inducted into the Nebraska Hall of Fame in 1975. He was also one of the greatest athletes to come out of the central Nebraska town of Sutton.

The photograph measures approximately 3” x 8”.

A rare signed image of one of the great’s of early Nebraska football. Possibly the only Bender signed photo in existence. 

About Johnny Bender from wiki:

John Reinhold "Chief" Bender (May 14, 1882 – July 24, 1928) was an American football player and coach of football, basketball and football. He served as the head football coach at Black Hills State University, (1905),Washington State University (1906–1907, 1912–1914), Haskell Indian Nations University (1908–1909), St. Louis University (1910–1911), Kansas State University (1915), and the University of Tennessee (1916–1920), compiling a career record of 67–32–7. He is one of the few college football head coaches to have non-consecutive tenure at the same school. Bender was also the head basketball coach at Washington State (1907–1908) and Tennessee (1916–1917, 1919–1921), and the head baseball coach at Washington State (1907–1908, 1913–1915) and Tennessee (1917, 1920).

A native of Sutton, Nebraska, Bender played college football at the University of Nebraska from 1900 to 1904. Due to loose eligibility standards at the time, he played five seasons for Nebraska. Bender starred at halfback for undefeated teams in 1902 and 1903, served as captain of the 1903 team, and graduated as the leading scorer in Nebraska history. However, tarnishing his image, one story recounts that he refused to play against the national powerhouse Minnesota until Nebraska paid him an acceptable amount of money.

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