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2007: Lamar Hunt '51

David and Kay Dougherty with Norma and Clark Hunt
On Wednesday evening, April 11, 2007, The Hill School posthumously honored Lamar Hunt, a member of Hill’s class of 1951 and professional football and sports pioneer and owner of the Kansas City Chiefs, with its annual Sixth Form Leadership Award. Mr. Hunt passed away on December 13, 2006 after a courageous battle with cancer. Members of the Hunt family including his wife, Norma, and son, Clark Hunt, chairman of the board of the Kansas City Chiefs and CEO of Shoreline, Inc., accepted the award on Mr. Hunt’s behalf.

Mr. Hunt was the guiding figure behind the formation of both the AFL and the Dallas Texans franchise, later named the Kansas City Chiefs. Mr. Hunt was the first AFL figure to be enshrined in the Professional Football Hall of Fame in 1972. In addition, as a tribute to Mr. Hunt’s contributions to professional football, the National Football League established the Lamar Hunt Trophy, which is presented each year to the champion of the American Football Conference. Mr. Hunt is credited with creating the phrase “Super Bowl.” Mr. Hunt’s own Kansas City Chiefs took on the Packers in the first Super Bowl in 1967. The Chiefs won their first championship three years later by defeating the Minnesota Vikings.

In addition to creating the AFL, Mr. Hunt was involved in developing the National American Soccer League (NASL) and the tennis promotion company, World Championship Tennis (WCT). He helped found Major League Soccer (MLS) in 1995, and the Hunt family served as operators and investors of the Kansas City Wizards franchise from 1995-2006. Two other MLS franchises the Hunt family still oversees are FC Dallas and Columbus Crew. Mr. Hunt was inducted into the Halls of Fame of both United States Soccer (1982) and International Tennis (1993). In addition, he was inducted into the state Sports Hall of Fame in Missouri (1995) and Texas (1984). Mr. Hunt has been inducted into eight Halls of Fame, including the Texas Business Hall of Fame (1997) and Kansas City Hall of Fame (2004).

Mr. Hunt was one of the founding investors in the World Championship NBA team, the Chicago Bulls. In total, Mr. Hunt had 13 championship rings from five different professional sports associations – AFL, NFL, MLS, NBA, NASL, and U.S. Soccer. He also had a Super Bowl IV ring from the 1969 Chiefs and AFL title rings from the 1962 Texans and 1966 Chiefs.

Some of Mr. Hunt’s other honors include: his induction into the NFL Alumni Association’s Order of the Leather Helmet; being the recipient of the Francis J. “Reds” Bagnell Award from the Maxwell Football Club of Philadelphia; in 1999 being named Soccer America Magazine’s “25 Most Influential People” after the U.S. Open Cup became the “Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup” and he received the U.S. Soccer Federation Hall of Fame Medal of Honor; and earning the 2005 Lifetime Achievement Award from the U.S. Soccer Foundation.

Leadership Award collage honoring Lamar Hunt

Mr. Hunt proved himself a highly regarded and successful businessman outside of sports as well. He was responsible for the SubTropolis, the world’s largest underground business complex in Kansas City.

Mr. Hunt maintained a loyal interest in The Hill School, especially in recent years, returning for his 50th reunion in 2001 and that fall speaking in the newly dedicated David Mercer Field House as part of the School’s Sesquicentennial Celebration. The Hill’s Upper School dormitory is named for Mr. Hunt and his two brothers, Bunker ’43, and Herbert ’47, in gratitude for their support of the School. While a Hill student from 1946 to 1951, Mr. Hunt played varsity baseball and was a member of the varsity football team for three years, serving as captain of the 1950 squad. He also was a key student leader, serving as the president of his fourth and fifth form classes and vice president of the sixth form class. He attended Southern Methodist University, where he graduated with a degree in geology in 1956.

The Sixth Form Leadership Award is given annually to a role model for today’s students—a person who has been an exemplary leader in government, business and industry, education, the arts, and/or community service. Recipients may be chosen from Hill School alumni, but selection is not limited to Hill graduates. Past recipients include Baird Tipson, Jr., Ph.D. '61, president of Washington College in Chestertown, Md.; Peter S. Rummell '63, chairman and chief executive officer of The St. Joe Company, a residential and commercial real estate development firm in Jacksonville, Fla.; Tobias Wolff ’64, award-winning author and Stanford professor; James A. Baker III ’48, former Secretary of State and White House Chief of Staff; S. Roger Horchow ’45, Tony Award-winning Broadway producer and founder of the mail-order catalogue the “Horchow Collection”; Sandy Warner '64, retired chairman of the board of JP Morgan Chase & Co.; F. Barton Harvey III ’67, CEO and chairman of the Enterprise Foundation; Norman Pearlstine ’60, former editor-in-chief of Time.



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