About The Book
McFarland & Company
July 11, 2012
Fred “Duke” Slater was the greatest African-American football player of the first half of the 20th century. Born into poverty, he developed into a two-time All-American tackle at the University of Iowa from 1918 to 1921. When the College Football Hall of Fame opened decades later, Duke was the only African-American elected in the inaugural class. He then became the first black lineman in National Football League history in 1922, embarking on a remarkable ten-year career in the NFL.
Incredibly, Slater was the only African-American in the entire NFL for most of the late 1920s, yet he was widely recognized as one of the League’s best linemen. But his pioneering influence extended beyond the gridiron. After retirement, he broke ground in the legal field as just the second black judge in Chicago history. On the field or on the bench, the inspirational life of Judge Duke Slater is a true American success story.
“[Duke Slater] should be on the bookshelf in every library in the state and in the private library of every Iowan…It is very well-written, extremely well-documented, and a joy to read.” – Mike Chapman
“Every football fan in the state of Iowa ought to latch onto this book. It’s one of those books you can’t put down once you get into it…If you’re into history at all, this is an absolute must-read.” – Gary Dolphin
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