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Duke Slater


Frederick Wayman Slater

Inducted 1951

Date of Birth



Normal, IL


University of Iowa (1918-1921)


Fred "Duke" Slater was born the son of a minister in Normal, IL. In 1913, he told his father he wanted to quit high school and get a job. His father got him a job cutting ice in sub-zero weather on the Mississippi River. The boy changed his mind about the job and went back to school. This led him to the University of Iowa, where he played tackle on the football team four years, 1918-21, and threw the shot and discus on the track team. He gained All-America mention for the second time after the 1921 season, in which Iowa had a 7-0 record and beat Notre Dame 10-7 in a classic match. He made all-conference all three years and was one of the first African-Americans to become a star in major college football. Slater played pro football with the Chicago Cardinals until 1931. In the off-season he returned to the University of Iowa and obtained a law degree. He was one of five starters on the 1921 Iowa team who became lawyers. Slater moved to Chicago and served as a Superior Court judge. He was named to the College Football Hall of Fame's first class in 1951.


Height 6'2

Weight 207

Career Highlights

  • 1921 All-Conference
  • 1921 All-Conference
  • 1921 First Team All-America
  • 1919 All-Conference
  • 1919 Second Team All-America
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