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Charles C. "C. C."
Pyle (March 25, 1882 – February 3, 1939), often
called Cash and Carry Pyle, was a Champaign,
Illinois theater owner and sports agent who represented American
football star Red
Grange and French tennis player Suzanne Lenglen. After his signing of
Grange in 1925 and Grange's becoming a star for the Chicago Bears National Football League team,
Pyle founded the first New York Yankees football team;
when Pyle's application for the Yankees joining the NFL was
rejected, he announced the formation of the first American Football
League in 1926. The league
lasted one season before folding.
In 1926, Pyle signed Lenglen and several of the best tennis
players in the world to start the first professional tennis tour, which traveled
throughout the U.S. and Canada. Two years later, he inaugurated the
Bunion Derby, an ambitious, 3455-mile-long foot
race from Los Angeles,
California, to Chicago,
Illinois, to New
the 1928 race was not a financial success, Pyle organized a 1929
"return" along essentially the same route, but from New York to Los
After managing the "Ripley's
Believe It or Not" exhibit in the Chicago
World's Fair, Pyle married comedienne Elvia Allman Tourtellotte in 1937.
He became president of the Radio Transcription Company, a position
that he held until his death (of a heart attack) in Los
Angeles, February 3, 1939.
A play based on his life, C.C. Pyle and the Bunion
Derby, was written by Tony Award winner Michael
Cristofer and directed by Paul Newman.