Lurie: Gamble a ‘Legendary Football Figure’

Former Eagles president Harry Gamble passed away this morning at the age of 83.

“On behalf of the Philadelphia Eagles, we were saddened to learn of the passing of Harry Gamble today,” said owner Jeffrey Lurie. “Our sincerest condolences go out to his wife, Joan, his sons, Harry and Tom, and the rest of the Gamble family. Harry is a legendary football figure in the city of Philadelphia and South Jersey. He was an excellent football coach, executive and philanthropist, but he will be remembered most for his warm personality, his strong character and his love for his family. He will be sorely missed.”

Gamble is survived by his wife, Joan, their two sons, Harry and Tom and three grandchildren. Tom Gamble currently serves as the Eagles’ vice president of player personnel.

Harry Gamble served as the team president of the Eagles from 1986-94. He originally joined the organization in 1981 as a volunteer assistant coach under Dick Vermeil. In 1982, he became a full-time staff member, coaching special teams and tight ends. Gamble then became an assistant for both the coaching and personnel staffs in 1983 before being named director of football operations in 1984. He was named general manager in 1985 by owner Leonard Tose.

Prior to joining the Eagles, Gamble was the head football coach at Lafayette (1967-70) and the University of Pennsylvania (1971-80).

Born and raised in Pitman, N.J., Gamble earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in business education from Temple University. He received his undergraduate degree from Rider College, where he was an offensive lineman. Gamble then became a player/coach with the 2nd Army Headquarters team at Fort Meade (MD) in 1953.

After coaching and teaching in the New Jersey high school ranks from 1954-61 at Clayton and Audubon High School, Gamble became an assistant coach at Penn from 1962-66. In 1985, he was inducted into the Gloucester County Sports Hall of Fame and the South Jersey Coaches Hall of Fame. He also received the Bert Bell Award from the Baker’s Club in Philadelphia. In 1994, Gamble was named Man of the Year by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Catholic Youth Organization.

Funeral arrangements will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Brooks-Irvine Memorial Football Club Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 205, Collingswood, NJ 08108.

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  • George

    Condolences to His family…great guy, great football mind. We will miss him.

  • Maggie

    From volunteer assistant coach to team president in 5 years. Must have been a truly remarkable “football mind”. And person. Traits inherited by at least one son. Condolences.


    This was one of those men who truly dedicated his entire life to the game. he used to travel to the Soviet Union, to teach kids football, and would even bring coaches back from the Soviet Union and let them observe Eagles practices trying to spread the game world wide.

    Gamble literally talked Norman BRamen out of firing Buddy like 15 times. Him and buddy actually bought a racehorse together..Buddy also bought his own race horse after leaving Philly. He named that horse “fired for winning”..
    Gamble was a good dude, and truly a great football mind. After leaving philly he went to work for NFL office even serving on the competition committee…btw, gamble thought really highly of Chip and FOles for whatever that’s worth..
    RIP to a good man, and condolences to Tommy and his family

  • cheapmeat

    I had no idea this site was so heavily moderated. I don’t agree with
    Media Mike one bit, but you guys won’t let him express a single negative
    opinion about Gamble. I get taking down the posts that are
    unnecessarily derogatory, but him complaining about how Gamble treated
    Reggie White is legit (even if it was 21 years ago).

    • GEAGLE

      Lol I have been banned for much less. Gotta watch the Nazi mods

    • theycallmerob

      was wondering why there are only 5 comments on this page

      Condolences to the Gamble family. There’s green blood in those veins.

  • PaoliBulldog

    Wow. When I was a kid, my best friend’s dad was a talk show host for WCAU who had season tickets for U-Penn football. We watched Penn play Lafayette, Lehigh, Columbia, etc. I had no idea we were watching Harry Gamble.