Blacks@Dartmouth 1775 to 1960

Leslie Lawrence Pollard

Dartmouth Halfback and Journalist

alumnus image

Dartmouth College

Class of 1912

Born  1886  IL

Died 1915 Brooklyn NY

Quotes from Biographical Sources

Chicago friends of Mrs. Amanda Pollard of Rogers Park are mourning with her over the accidental death of her son, Leslie L. Pollard, the famous athlete in Brooklyn, N. Y., Thursday, April 22. Reports from Brooklyn show that young Pollard's death was due to asphyxiation from carbon monoxide gas at the resident of F. A. Judson. Mrs. Pollard and her son Luther returned from New York with the remains Sunday and interment was at Rosehill cemetery Monday, April 26.

Noted Athlete: Pollard was one of a family of athletes and was born and raised in Chicago. He showed an early inclination to follow the football field and as soon as he entered the North Division high school he went out for the football team which he easily made. He was their mainstay for three years and as his team went from place to place he was the center of attraction. Everybody looked for Pollard. He was a marked man and through many battles he was the hero, always escaping injury. Walter Steffans and Leo DeTray were two of his teammates. Both later captained the University of Chicago eleven.

Star at Dartmouth: Pollard, however, cast his chances in the east, going to Dartmouth where he made a record for himself. He was one of the big green team's star half backs in 1909 playing a stellar game against Harvard. So well was his work done that the Boston papers spoke of him and some claimed that it was only his weight that kept him from being chosen all American half that year.

Pollard left school and came back to Chicago where he still kept up his interest in athletics. He played with a champion white football team known as the West Ends in the heavy weight division of the Chicago football league. The team through Pollard's effort won the championship that year. On Thanksgiving day he played at the American Giants' park that year with the colored all stars from the northern colleges against those of the southern. The latter were beaten 44 to 0. Pollard with his brother started He was then engaged to coach Lincoln college in Pennsylvania. Last fall he worked them to where they defeated Howard the first time in years.

Many mourn his loss as he was well known in Chicago, probably better known among both races than any other athlete that ever wore a gridiron uniform on the fields of Chicago representing a high school. His name will long live for his deeds were many. It is only pitiful that the end should come as it did.

Leslie Pollard Famous Athlete Asphyxiated: Former Chicago Boy Noted as the Best All-Around Athlete of His Day Dies in Brooklyn From Carbon monoxide Gas Poisoning. (May 1, 1915). The Chicago Defender, p. 4.

Other source(s)

  1. Polard, Leslie Lawrence. (1915). In Frank Lincoln Mather (Ed.), Who's Who of the Colored Race (Vol. 1, pp. 220). Chicago: F. L. Mather.
  2. 1915. Leslie Lawrence Pollard. In Who's who of the Colored Race: A General Biographical Dictionary of Men and Women of African Descent, edited by Frank Lincoln Mather. Chicago, IL.

Profile image source: Dartmouth College Photographic Files, Football Players Groups,