Dick Klein (basketball)

Dick Klein (Basketball)

Dick Klein (basketball)

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Dick Oland Klein (September 16, 1920 – October 10, 2000) was an American athlete and businessman who founded the National Basketball Association's Chicago Bulls in 1966. He continued to serve as the team’s first general manager and later worked as a scout for the Phoenix Suns.

Background

Born in Fort Madison, Iowa, Klein played basketball at Northwestern University during the late 1930s and early 1940s. At 6’3” and 200 pounds, he was one of the Big Ten Conference’s best scorers and rebounders, and received All-American honors during his sophomore year.Hirsley, Michael. “Dick Klein, Bulls founder and CEO, dies at 80”. Chicago Tribune. October 12, 2000. p. 7. Klein’s collegiate career was cut short when he joined the United States Navy, but he continued to play basketball with the Navy’s Great Lakes Blue Jackets, who traveled throughout the United States raising money for the Navy Relief Society.

From 1945 to 1946, Klein played professionally for the National Basketball League's Chicago American Gears. He also dabbled in minor league baseball, spending one summer as a pitcher in the Cleveland Indians' farm system.Sachare, Alex. The Chicago Bulls Encyclopedia. Chicago: Contemporary, 1999. p. 155. Once his playing days were over, he moved to the Chicago suburbs and embarked on a highly successful career distributing promotional items to banks and other companies.

Founding of the Chicago Bulls

The late...
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