Rozelle, Pete

Rozelle, Pete (Alvin Rozelle), 1926–96, American football executive, b. South Gate, Calif. As commissioner of the National Football League (NFL; 1960–89), he guided the league through expansion from 12 to 28 teams, establishing a reputation for tough, even-handed control. He negotiated lucrative television contracts and convinced owners to pool receipts, suspended players for gambling, maintained stability during the NFL's merger with the American Football League, and secured the league's exemption from antitrust prosecution. He presided during two players' strikes in 1982 and 1987.

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