Harvard sports legend George Owen, Jr. '23, a member of both the college football and pro hockey Halls of Fame, died of a stroke Tuesday in Milton, Mass. He was 84.
Owen, a three--sport star at Harvard, captained the 1923 hockey team and later led the Boston Bruins to the Stanley Cup Championship in 1929. He also earned three varsity baseball and football letters at Harvard.
Owen was especially renowned for foiling Yale. The hero in a series of legendary comeback victories, Owen never lost to the Elis in any sport during three years of varsity play. The day of Owen's graduation, the president of Yale sent the following telegram to Harvard: "Please be sure Owen graduates today and gets his degree."
Owen later coached football, hockey and baseball at Milton Academy for 20 years until he retired in 1965.
He remained active in sports, however, as a scout for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He also tutored pitchers at Harvard and other area high schools and colleges.
Neighbor and Milton Academy collegue Barclay Feather '41 said, "one thing that characterzed George was his humbleness about his own athletic abilities. He claimed he was merely doing his best with the talents God had given him."
Assistant Harvard football Coach George Clemens said Owen often attended Harvard sporting events, even in his later years.
"He was an inspirational man to have around. He took a great interest in all of our kids, whether they were freshmen, JV or varsity players," Clemens said.
Approximately 250 people attended a memorial service for Owen yesterday at the Milton Academy chapel.