Robert Kraft

While other owners in the Hub sit back and watch their team crumble and under perform it’s nice to know that one owner in the area is a capable leader and an extraordinary example when it comes to philanthropy.

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was voted as the 2012 recipient of the George Halas Award by the Pro Football Writers Association.  He is the first Patriot to win the award and more importantly the ONLY OWNER distinguished with this honor.

He is the 43rd recipient of the award given annually on Hall of Fame weekend.

The award named after legendary Chicago Bears coach and owner George Halas is given to the player, coach or staff member who overcomes the most adversity to succeed.  Halas a charter member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame was with the Bears from their inception in 1920 until his death in 1983.

Kraft is honored not only for his part in ending the lockout but for how he dealt with it while dealing with a personal tragedy, in the sickness and subsequent death of his wife Myra.

It was because of her that he was a part of negotiations as she persuaded him to continue despite her illness.

The lockout ended on July 25, 2011 a mere five days after his wife passed.  A grieving Kraft stood out front of NFL headquarters in New York and announced the agreement with the union.  Many owners and union members that day praised Kraft and the incredible strength he had shown despite his greatest loss.

Other who have won the Halas Award include: Joe Namath, Gale Sayers, Dick Butkus, Roger Staubach, Joe Montana, Mike Utley, Mark Bavaro, Dan Marino, Mark Schlereth, Tony Dungy and Drew Brees.

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photo credit: Reuters Pictures