CWRU Links

DEUTSCH, SAMUEL H.

DEUTSCH, SAMUEL H. (2 Apr. 1892-4 Sept. 1958) prominent sportsman and jeweler, was born in New York City, the son of Rudolph and Hulda Heimlich Deutsch. The family moved here in 1899, and after finishing school, he entered The Rudolph Deutsch Co., his father's jewelery firm, where he learned the art of diamond cutting. He succeeded his father as company president and became chairman of the board in 1956, with his son Robert as president. In local sports, Deutsch was primarily known as owner of the Cleveland Indians, an early professional football team in the National Football League. Deutsch bought the defunct Cleveland franchise in 1923, continuing the Indians name, and finishing fifth in the 20-team league. The NFL champion Canton Bulldogs lost money that year, and Deutsch purchased the team for $1,500 from a group of Canton businessmen. He switched the best Canton players to Cleveland and renamed the team the Cleveland Bulldogs, leaving the Canton franchise inactive. Cleveland's Bulldogs won the 1924 NFL championship, and Deutsch sold the inactive franchise back to Canton for $3,000. With key players returning to Canton in 1925, the Cleveland Bulldogs finished 12th in the NFL. After a hiatus in 1926, Deutsch revived the Cleveland Bulldogs. Although the team finished fourth in 1927, it was unsuccessful financially, and Deutsch sold the franchise to Elliot Fisher of Detroit at the end of the season.

Deutsch married Martha S. Leibel 29 June 1919, and they had two children, Robert and Mrs. Shirley Feder. A resident of SHAKER HTS., he died in Cleveland.