Tom Harmon (Football Player) – Overview, Biography

Name:Tom Harmon
Occupation: Football Player
Height:185 cm (6′ 1”)
Birth Day: September 28,
Death Date:Mar 15, 1990 (age 70)
Age: Aged 70
Birth Place: Rensselaer,
United States
Zodiac Sign:Libra

Tom Harmon

Tom Harmon was born on September 28, 1919 in Rensselaer, United States (70 years old). Tom Harmon is a Football Player, zodiac sign: Libra. Nationality: United States. Approx. Net Worth: $1 Million (Approx.). @ plays for the team .


He was a pilot in the Army Air Corps in WW II and received a Purple Heart for his bravery.

Net Worth 2020

$1 Million (Approx.)
Find out more about Tom Harmon net worth here.

Family Members

#NameRelationshipNet WorthSalaryAgeOccupation
Kelly Harmon
Kelly Harmon
Daughter$1 Million – $2 Million (Approx.) N/A 11 Actor
Kristin Nelson
Kristin Nelson
Daughter$6 Million N/A 75 Actor
#3Louis A. Harmon Father N/A N/A N/A
Tracy Nelson
Tracy Nelson
Granddaughter$1 Million – $2 Million (Approx.) N/A 57 Actor
#5Ty Christian Harmon Grandson N/A N/A N/A
Matthew Nelson
Matthew Nelson
Grandson$3 Million N/A N/A Rock Stars
Gunnar Nelson
Gunnar Nelson
Grandson$3 Million N/A 32 MMA
Sean Harmon
Sean Harmon
Grandson$1 Million – $2 Million (Approx.) N/A 32 Actor
Sam Nelson
Sam Nelson
Grandson$1 Million – $2 Million (Approx.) N/A 66 Actor
#10Elijah Nelson Clark Great-grandson N/A N/A N/A
#11Rose Marie Quinn Harmon Mother N/A N/A N/A
Mark Harmon
Mark Harmon
Son$100 Million $525 Thousand Per Episode 69 Actor
Elyse Knox
Elyse Knox
Spouse$1 Million – $2 Million (Approx.) N/A 94 Actor
Ozzie Nelson
Ozzie Nelson
$1 Million – $2 Million (Approx.) N/A 69 Actor
Ricky Nelson
Ricky Nelson
$500 Thousand N/A 45 Pop Singer
Harriet Nelson
Harriet Nelson
$1 Million – $2 Million (Approx.) N/A 85 Actor

Does Tom Harmon Dead or Alive?

As per our current Database, Tom Harmon died on Mar 15, 1990 (age 70).


HeightWeightHair ColourEye ColourBlood TypeTattoo(s)
185 cm (6′ 1”) N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Before Fame

He delivered such a remarkable performance against rival Ohio State that the fans in Columbus gave him the only standing ovation ever given to a Michigan player.


Biography Timeline


In 1924, the family moved to Gary, Indiana. At the time of the 1930 U.S. Census, the family was living at 578 Van Buren in Gary, where Harmon’s father was employed as a real estate salesman, and his mother was employed as a clerk for the Census Bureau. Harmon’s three older brothers all excelled in athletics before him: Harold was a track star at Purdue University, Louis played basketball at Purdue, and Eugene was the captain of Tulane University’s basketball team.


At the urging of his high-school coach Douglass Kerr, who played end for Michigan in 1927 and 1928, Harmon enrolled at the University of Michigan in 1937. He played on the freshman football team that fall, while the varsity compiled a 4–4 record in its final season under head coach Harry Kipke. In November 1937, the Associated Press published a story that Tulane coach Bill Bevan had tried to lure Harmon to transfer to that school, where his older brother was a student-athlete. Harmon chose to remain at Michigan, leading the varsity football team to a 19–4–1 (.813) record over the next three years.


Harmon attended Horace Mann High School in Gary, graduating in 1937. He received 14 varsity letters in 10 sports at Horace Mann. He won the Indiana state championship both in the 100-yard dash and 220-yard low hurdles and won the national interscholastic scoring championship in football with 150 points. He ran the 100-yard dash in 9.9 seconds (half a second slower than Jesse Owens’ world record) and 220-yard low hurdles in 22.6 seconds. He was also a star basketball player and threw two no-hitters as a pitcher in AAU baseball. Michigan athletic director Fielding H. Yost in 1937 proclaimed Harmon “the greatest high school athlete of the year”.


In 1938, Michigan hired Fritz Crisler as its new football coach. As a sophomore, Harmon started seven of eight games at the right halfback position . He gained 405 rushing yards, averaging more than five yards per carry, and also completed 21 of 45 passes for 310 yards with only one interception. With Crisler as the coach, Harmon in the backfield, and consensus All-American Ralph Heikkinen at the guard position, the Wolverines lost only one game, a 7–6 loss to Minnesota, and improved their record to 6–1–1.


As a junior in 1939, Harmon started at the right halfback position in seven of eight games. The Wolverines compiled a 6–2 record, with losses to Illinois and Minnesota, and were ranked number 20 in the final AP poll. For the season, Harmon rushed for 868 yards on 129 carries in eight games, an average of 6.7 yards per carry. His average of 108.5 yards per game was the best in the NCAA during the 1939 season, more than 20 yards higher than any other player (runner up John Polanski of Wake Forest averaged 88.2 rushing yards per game). He also led the nation in scoring with 102 points on 14 touchdowns, 15 extra points, and one field goal.

In his three seasons at Michigan, Harmon rushed for 2,151 yards on 399 carries, completed 101 of 233 passes for 1,396 yards and 16 touchdowns, and scored 237 points. During his career, he played all 60 minutes eight times. Harmon also scored 33 touchdowns, breaking Red Grange’s collegiate record of 31 touchdowns. He led the nation in scoring in both 1939 and 1940 (a feat that remains unmatched). His career average of 9.9 points per game stood as an NCAA record for ten seasons.


In November 1940, Michigan’s equipment manager announced that Harmon’s jersey number, 98, would be retired when Harmon played his last game. About 73 years later, Michigan unretired Harmon’s jersey as part of its Michigan Football Legends program. During a ceremony in September 2013, Harmon was honored as a Michigan Football Legend, and Devin Gardner was chosen as the first Michigan player since 1940 to wear the jersey.

In December 1940, Harmon was selected by the Chicago Bears with the first selection in the first round of the 1941 NFL Draft. However, Harmon declined to sign with the Bears, initially stating that he was through playing football and instead planned to pursue a career in radio and the movies.


In March 1941, Harmon signed a contract with Columbia Pictures to star in a motion picture titled, Harmon of Michigan, with filming set to commence in July 1941, after Harmon graduated from Michigan. The film was released later that year. His film appearances included two Paramount Martin and Lewis comedies as a sports announcer, That’s My Boy (1951) and The Caddy (1953).

On October 10, 1941, the New York Americans of the rival American Football League announced that they had signed Harmon to play in the final four games of the 1941 season for around $1,500 per game.

In May 1941, the draft board in Lake County, Indiana, announced that Harmon had been classified as 1-B and deferred as a student until July 1, 1941. In July 1941, Harmon was granted a further 60-day deferment based on his claim that he was the sole support for his parents. In September 1941, he appeared in front of the draft board seeking a permanent deferment. His request was denied, and he was classified as 1-A. Harmon, then working as a radio announcer in Detroit, stated that he intended to appeal the ruling. His appeal was denied in October 1941, and he was given until November 1941 to enlist.


Harmon applied to enlist as a cadet in the United States Army Air Corps in early November 1941. He was granted permission to enlist as a cadet in March 1942. Despite rumors that he had washed out of flight school, Harmon underwent his first 60 hours of flight training at the now defunct Oxnard Air Force Base in Camarillo, California, and then finished basic flying school at Gardner Army Airfield in Taft, California, in September 1942. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant and a twin-engined bomber pilot and assigned to Williams Field in Arizona in October 1942.


In April 1943, an Army bomber piloted by Harmon, and nicknamed “Old 98” after Harmon’s football jersey number, crashed into the South American jungle while en route to North Africa. Harmon reported that he had been flying through heavy rain turbulence for two hours. When Harmon tried to fly the plane to an opening in the weather, there was a sharp crack from the right wing and engine, and Harmon was unable to pull the plane from a steep dive. After ordering his crew to bail out, Harmon parachuted from the plane at 1,500 feet. He ended up in a tree 20 yards from where his plane crashed. Out of a crew of six, Harmon was the sole survivor of the crash and spent several days working his way through jungle and swamp. He ultimately came upon natives in Dutch Guiana who escorted him in a dugout canoe to a village, where he was taken by outrigger canoe to a base of the Antilles Air Command.


Harmon returned from China in January 1944. In November 1944, Harmon’s account of his war service was published by Thomas Y. Crowell Company under the title, “Pilots Also Pray”. He was promoted to the rank of captain in April 1945, and he was discharged from the military at the end of the war on August 13, 1945.

In August 1944, Harmon married actress and model Elyse Knox in a ceremony at the St. Mary’s student chapel at the University of Michigan. Harmon saved his silk parachute from the crash of his P-38, and it was used as the material for his wife’s wedding dress. The couple had three children:


In August 1945, upon his discharge from the military, Harmon joined the college all-star team to play against the NFL champions (the Green Bay Packers) in the annual College Football All-Star Classic in Chicago. Although the Packers defeated the college all-star team by a 19-7 score, Harmon provided a highlight with a 76-yard kickoff return that set up the all-stars’ only touchdown. Harmon also kicked the extra point.

Even before his playing days had ended, Harmon had begun to pursue a career in broadcasting. Before joining the military, he worked as the sports editor for WJR radio in Detroit. In September 1945, Harmon returned to Detroit’s WJR radio to broadcast Michigan football games for the 1945 season. In October 1945, Harmon was hired to do a Saturday evening sports-feature program to be broadcast on the Mutual Radio Network. He said at the time that his playing days were behind him and that he intended to move to California after the football season was over.


Harmon’s retirement from football was short-lived. In July 1946, he signed a two-year contract to play professional football for the Los Angeles Rams. Harmon later recalled that his return to the playing field was reluctant and made necessary by a $7,000 tax bill he received for his prewar earnings.

A “series of injuries to war-weakened muscles” hampered his comeback. He appeared in 10 games for the Rams during the 1946 NFL season, rushing for 236 yards on 47 carries, and catching 10 passes for 199 yards. He had an 84-yard run against the Chicago Bears on October 14, 1946, that was the longest in the NFL in 1946. He also gained 135 yards on 18 carries in a 1946 game against the Green Bay Packers. The following year, Harmon appeared in 12 games for the Rams, gaining 306 rushing yards on 60 carries, and catching five passes for 89 yards.


After retiring as a player in 1947, Harmon returned to his career as a sports broadcaster, becoming one of the first and most successful athletes to make the transition from player to broadcaster. Harmon attributed his successful career in radio and television to the early education he received from his drama teacher, Mary Gorrell, at Horace Mann high school. During the 1948 season, he broadcast Rams’ games for KFI radio in Los Angeles. In the late 1940s, he was the play-by-play announcer for NBC on the first television broadcast of a Rose Bowl Game. From around 1950 to 1962, Harmon worked as a sportscaster for the CBS network. He also handled the nightly sport report on KTLA television in Los Angeles from 1958 to 1964.


Harmon was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1954, the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame in 1962, the Indiana Football Hall of Fame in 1974, and the University of Michigan Athletic Hall of Honor (as one of five inaugural inductees) in 1978. In 2007, Harmon was ranked 16th on ESPN’s Top 25 Players in College Football list. Harmon was also ranked fifth on the Big Ten Network’s program “Big Ten Icons”, honoring the greatest athletes in the Big Ten Conference’s history.


In 1962, Harmon joined the sports staff of the ABC radio network. He developed a concept for a 10-minute daily sports program. He hired the crew, purchased the equipment, found sponsors, and then sold the program to ABC. His 10-minute broadcasts became a staple of the ABC radio network. By 1965, his company, Tom Harmon Sports, was generating annual gross revenue of $1 million and had six full-time employees.


On March 15, 1990, Harmon suffered a heart attack at the Amanda Travel Agency in West Los Angeles after winning a golf tournament at Bel Air Country Club. He was taken to UCLA Medical Center, where he died at age 70.

🎂 Upcoming Birthday

Currently, Tom Harmon is 103 years, 8 months and 0 days old. Tom Harmon will celebrate 104th birthday on a Thursday 28th of September 2023.

Find out about Tom Harmon birthday activities in timeline view here.

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