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Dick Kazmaier '52. The original caption reads: “Dick Kazmaier, first Princeton gridder to win the highest award conferred on an individual college football player.”

Photo Credit: Alan W. Richards / Daily Princetonian (December 5, 1951)

Editor’s Note: In honor of the 150th season of Princeton Football, the Daily Princetonian will re-publish a series of football articles, drawn from our archives, throughout this season. The articles featured here were first published on December 5, 1951, a day after Dick Kazmaier 52 was named the first Heisman Trophy winner in University history.

Dick Kazmaier, Princeton's All-American tailback, was announced yesterday as the winner by an overwhelming margin of the Heisman Trophy, the highest award that can be won by an individual college football player. 

The trophy is given annually by the Downtown Athletic Club of New York City to the best individual college football player in the country as selected in a poll of 980 sports writers, radio broadcasters and telecasters throughout the nation. 

Won by Largest Margin Ever 

Harold Kennedy, chairman of the Heisman Trophy committee, told the Daily Princetonian in a telephone conversation yesterday afternoon that Kazmaier had been voted the award by “the largest margin in the sixteen-year history of the trophy.” Kennedy also emphasized that Kaz had been the overwhelming choice in all sections of the country, a feat equalled by only three previous winners, Leon Hart, Angelo Bertelli and Frank Sinkwich. Tommy Harmon of Michigan was the only previous winner to come close to Kazmaier's total but he did not win in every section of the country, Kennedy said. 

Kazmaier amassed a total of 506 first place votes in the nationwide balloting while his nearest competitor, Hank Lauricella of Tennessee, received 45. In the tabulation of first, second and third place votes Kaz had 1757 points to Lauricella’s 424. (Points are awarded on a 3-2-1 basis with each voter making three selections.) Other contenders for the coveted prize were Vito (Babe) Parilli of Kentucky, Bill McColl of Stanford and Johnny Bright of Drake. 

Caldwell Will Speak at Dinner 

Kazmaier will receive the trophy at a dinner on Tuesday, December 11, at the Downtown Athletic Club. Charley Caldwell will be the principal speaker at the dinner by virtue of his being Coach of the Year last year. The trophy was established by the club in 1935 in memory of John W. Heisman, who was an outstanding player and coach for 37 years and was responsible for legalizing the forward pass, Kazmaier's forte.