Austin Gunsel
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Austin Gunsel
Austin Gunsel
Personal information
Born:April 2, 1909
Irvington, New Jersey
Died:June 17, 1974(1974-06-17) (aged 65)
Wynnewood, Pennsylvania
Career information
College:Penn - Wharton School
Career history
As administrator:

Austin H. Gunsel (April 2, 1909 - June 17, 1974) was the National Football League's interim commissioner from 1959-1960, following the death of Bert Bell on October 11, 1959.


Gunsel was born in Irvington, New Jersey and is a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. [1]


Gunsel joined the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1939. He served as both J. Edgar Hoover's administrative assistant and as a special agent for the Bureau, and during his crime-fighting career, served in the New York City, Detroit and Chicago field offices.

In 1952, Gunsel was hired by the NFL to head the league's investigative department, a move made in response to commissioner Bert Bell's fear of a scandal damaging the league's image. Gunsel became league treasurer in 1956, holding the post until his retirement ten years later. He served as acting president of the NFL after Bell's death in October 1959.

In January 1960 at a meeting of NFL owners, he was the early frontrunner to get the commissioner's job, but Los Angeles Rams general manager Pete Rozelle, 17 years Gunsel's junior, was ultimately elected to the post on January 26 after 23 ballots. Gunsel stayed on as NFL Treasurer until 1966.

Personal life

Gunsel died at Lankenau Hospital in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania.


  1. ^ "N.F.L. Picks Interim Chief; Gunsel is chosen by Club Owners. Acting Chief of Pro League Since Bell's Death to Serve Until January", The New York Times, October 15, 1959.

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