ESCANABA – A drive is under way to have legendary Upper Peninsula native George Gipp placed on a U.S. postage stamp.
The one-time Notre Dame University football standout was born in Laurium, near Calumet. He died in 1920, shortly after being named that season’s top college football player.
Gipp was the recipient of the Helms Foundation Award, the equivalent to today’s Heisman Trophy. He was the first Notre Dame running back named to Walter Camp’s All-America team, and some of his school records still stand.
He was portrayed in the movie “Knute Rockne All-American” by Ronald Reagan, who later became a U.S. president. Gipp is a charter inductee of the Upper Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame.
“The Gipper” was offered baseball contracts by the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox. He was a prolific basketball scorer on the Calumet High School teams of 1910-11.
A book written by Emil Klosinski, whose father was a close friend of Gipp’s, has been in bookstores since May 2004. Klosinski also wrote a book about another Laurium native and Notre Dame legend, Hunk Anderson, who provided extensive details about Gipp for the book “Gipp at Notre Dame-The Untold Story.”
Gipp fans can join the stamp drive by sending a request to: Citizens Stamp Advisory Committee, c/o stamp development, U.S. Postal Services, 475 Lenfant Plaza S.W., Room 5670, Washington, D.C., 20260.