Robert Walls 'Bobby' Marshall
College Football Hall of Fame 1971
Date of Birth: March 12, 1880, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Date of Death: August 27, 1958, in Minneapolis, Minnesota (78 years old)
Did you know?
Bobby Marshall was one of the first African American football players in the APFA/NFL
football league. He was also a top-flight baseball player and was still a great
athlete well into his 50's.
It has been said that he is one of the greatest Negro athletes of all-time. I would
just say that he is and should be considered one of the greatest and athletes of all-time.
"I started football when I was a kid in grade school. I played four years at Central High
in Minneapolis and then four years more at the University of Minnesota. During the
fall I played football, in the winter I played hockey and ice skating, and in the spring
and summer it was baseball. I kept in shape. Other than a broken nose or two, the
only time I was laid up was with a broken leg the first year at Minnesota."
When asked about how the pro-game stacks up with "modern" football (1940's), he
said, "Pro ball a few years ago probably was more dangerous than football today, but
players now have to be smarter and faster. In the old days it used to be power and
plenty of it, but now it's power plus speed and deception. Forwards, laterals and criss-
crosses really open a game up."
1920 Rock Island Independents (APFA)
1921 Minneapolis Marines (APFA)
1922 Minneapolis Marines (NFL)
1923 Minneapolis Marines (NFL)
1924 Minneapolis Marines (NFL)
1925 Duluth Kelleys (NFL)
University of Minnesota