Blacks@Dartmouth 1775 to 1960

Edwin Joseph Williams

College athlete (football)

alumnus image

Dartmouth College A.B.

Class of 1950

Born  1926  Chicago IL

Died 2004 Gales Ferry CT

Quotes from Biographical Sources

Dartmouth College football fans rubbed their eyes in disbelief when the 1950 Big Green squad trotted out for its opening day’s workout last Wednesday. It was hard to believe that little Eddie Williams, star left halfback for the Indians since 1946, was still giving it another try. A letterman as a freshman in 1946, when freshmen were permitted to play varsity ball and a full-fledged star in 1947, Williams was slated for national stardom in 1948. But fate interceded and the colorful Negro athlete suffered one of the most serious injuries in all Dartmouth football history when he broke his neck before the 1948 season started. His injury was so severe that he lay for weeks in the hospital with his body in a cast.

But in 1949, Eddie again reported for football. In the second game of the season, Williams ran wild against Holy Cross. Scoring one touchdown on a beautiful twisting run, setting up another and saving a sure Holy Cross score with a last-ditch tackle. But with only five minutes to go, three burly Holy Cross linemen piled on the 165 pound Williams at midfield and the plucky Dartmouth star was carried off on a stretcher, writhing in pain. Later reports told that Williams had suffered a severely fractured right leg. He was through for the season once more. Having married during the spring of 1919, but still possessing a year's eligibility because of the missed 1948 season, everyone thought that Eddie would quietly finish out his college career. But once again the flashy little gamester is wearing the green jersey of a Dartmouth football player.

Lightning fast, extremely shifty and ruggedly built for his weight little, Eddie is the darling of Dartmouth football fans. The only Negro on the Big Green squad, he is one of the most popular boys in Hanover. Eddie is a busy man at Dartmouth. He is president of the class of 1950 Club; a member of the Undergraduate Council; Vigilantes honor society; Gamma Delta Chi fraternity and most important, a History-Education major. Eddie thinks that he will enter either the teaching or writing fields upon his graduation from Dartmouth next June. A graduate of Hyde Park High School in Chicago where he starred in football, basketball, track and hockey, he has limited his athletic career at Dartmouth to football and a little track. Eddie's married to the former Gloria lean Clayton of Cleveland. They have no children.

Personable, modest and possessed of a good sense of humor, Eddie seems destined for an outstanding career in whatever he does. At Dartmouth, one of the most democratic colleges in the country, Eddie has made an out and out success. He realizes that things will be more difficult in the outside world, where tensions exist between his race and the more numerous white race. But Eddie is confident that he can do his usual good job in improving the situation. After all, a man with his courage on the football field cannot be lightly regarded by any man.

Roddy Wolbarst. Hardluck Dartmouth Star: Eddie Williams Gives Football Another Chance. Cleveland Call and Post, Sep 23, 1950, p. 1D-2D

Other source(s)

  1. Obituary. Dartmouth-Alumni-Magazine, May/June 2005, p. 107.!&pid=106

Profile image source: Dartmouth College Photographic Files, Football.