Thomas Wade "Tom" Landry was a well-known American football player who later became a well-known coach. He built a reputation for himself in the National Football League by introducing innovative techniques and coaching approaches to the game (NFL). He was the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys for 30 years, leading the team to 20 consecutive victories. His parents were middle-class, and he was born and raised in Texas. His father was a mechanic for automobiles and used to play football when he was small. He enrolled at the University of Texas to study industrial engineering, but his studies were cut short when he volunteered to fight in World War II. He was a football player in college and university before being signed by the New York Yankees. He was also a player-assistant coach for the New York Giants when he learned his true calling was to coach the players. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame for his flawless teaching abilities and original concepts. He married Alicia Wiggs, his high school sweetheart, and stayed married to her until his death, after a long battle with leukemia.

Childhood and adolescence

Tom Landry was born on September 11, 1924. His father was a machinist who suffered from rheumatism, yet he used to be an athlete who played football.

Landry attended Mission High School in Texas and was a member of the football team as a quarterback. The football stadium at the school is now known as "Tom Landry Stadium," and it is home to the Mission Eagles.

Landry earned his bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Despite his desire to attend SMU, he never did so because he did not want his friends and family to be cut off from him and his football games.

During World War II, Landry dropped out of school to join the United States Army Air Corps. He did this to remember his brother Robert Landry's sacrifice during the "Pearl Harbor" attack.

He was sent to Iowa to train as a co-pilot when he was 19 years old. When he reached the rank of Second Lieutenant, he flew 30 missions, including one in Belgium in which he survived a plane crash.

He returned to the University of Texas to conclude his studies in 1946. He was a fullback and defensive back for the team.

After he got his bachelor's degree from the University of Texas in 1949, he went to the University of Houston to get his master's degree.


Landry began his career with the New York Yankees in the All-American Football Conference in 1949, but switched to the New York Giants the following year after being drafted as a "future pick" by the NYG.

Landry was offered to play with the Yankees by Yankee coach Jack White shortly after completing his degree. He was given a salary of 6,000 dollars and a bonus of 500 dollars.

The New York Giants selected Landry in a dispersal selection in 1949 as a result of their territorial rights to do so. He had his first indirect coaching experience here while being coached by Steve Owen.

The New York Giants had a very dismal season in 1953, and Coach Steve Owen was fired as a result. In 1954, Landry was named to the All-Pro team. He worked as a player-assistant coach with the new head coach, Jim Hee Howell, in 1954 and 1955.

Landry entered the coaching profession in 1960 and became the first head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, a position he held for 29 years. He collaborated closely with Tex Schramm, the general manager.

Landry accepted a 10-year contract with the Dallas Cowboys in 1964, an offer offered to him by team owner Clint Murchison Jr., despite the fact that the team was not performing well under his coaching.

The ten-year agreement proved to be a wise decision on Murchison's part in 1965, as the Dallas Cowboys improved significantly under Landry and finished with a 7-7 record.

The Dallas Cowboys reached the National Football League championship game in 1966 after winning 10 games in the league. Despite the fact that the club fell to the Green Bay Packers, their progress was astounding.

From 1971 to 1979, Landry led the Dallas Cowboys to Super Bowl victories using his revolutionary coaching approaches. They defeated Miami in their first Super Bowl and Denver in their second.

In the 1980s, the Dallas Cowboys kept winning under Landry's coaching. In the late 1980s, the team lost three big games in a row, which hurt Landry's standing on the team and with the owners.

Bum Bright bought the Dallas Cowboys from Murchison in 1984. The team didn't win many games, which led to a lot of people criticizing Landry and his coaching methods.

Landry was removed from his role as head coach in 1989, despite the fact that he was interested in coaching the squad for another reason. In addition, the team was sold from Burn Bright to Jerry Jones.

Landry's name was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990 as a result of his 30 years of outstanding coaching. He was also inducted into Texas' "Ring of Honor" at the same time.

Personal History and Legacy

In 1949, Landry married his high school girlfriend, Alicia Wiggs. Tom Jr., Kitty, and Lisa were their three children together. Until Landry's death, the pair had been married for 51 years.

Landry died of leukemia on February 12, 2000. Highland Park United Methodist Church hosted his funeral ceremony. A cenotaph in the Texas State Cemetery in Austin is dedicated to him.