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.