Biography — McDonald Henry C

Go to Listings

Henry C. McDonald

Henry C. McDonald
Football
Inducted Inaugural Class of 1990

Henry McDonald was born in Haiti in 1890 and was adopted by an American importer at the age of 5. He grew up in Canandaigua and Rochester where he was an outstanding football and baseball player for Canandaigua Academy and Rochester East High. Henry was the best-known black professional football player during the pre-NFL years. A flashy halfback, He began his pro career in 1911 with the Rochester Jeffersons. He also played for the New York Colored Giants and the Pittsburgh Colored Stars. He played against such greats as Jim Thorpe. Henry also played seven years in the Negro Baseball League for the Cuban Giants and the Pittsburgh Colored Stars.

Henry was a charter member of the Black Athleteís Hall of Fame, along with Willie Mays, Jackie Robinson, Jim Brown, and 34 others. In 1937 he was named the head football coach at DeSales H.S. making him the first African-American to serve as a head high school football coach in New York State. When Little League was organized he was one of the first to take the field as an umpire. Genevaís Little League Park is named in his honor.

Go to Listings