Bowie Kuhn - Early Life and Career

Early Life and Career

Kuhn was born in Takoma Park, Maryland, grew up in Washington, D.C., and graduated from Theodore Roosevelt High School. He then attended Franklin and Marshall College in the V-12 Navy College Training Program before going to Princeton University in 1945. He graduated from Princeton with honors in 1947 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. He then received his law degree in 1950 from the University of Virginia where he served on the editorial board of the law review.

Following his graduation from law school, Kuhn became a member of the New York City law firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher because the firm represented the National League. While working in baseball's legal affairs, Kuhn served as a counselor for the NL in a lawsuit brought against it by the City of Milwaukee when the Milwaukee Braves moved to Atlanta following the 1965 season.

After the owners forced out William Eckert in 1968, Kuhn seemed like a logical replacement for the job of commissioner. He, unlike Eckert, was very aware of the inner workings of Major League Baseball before taking office. Kuhn's closest challengers to the commissionership were Mike Burke, president of the New York Yankees; and San Francisco Giants head of baseball operations Chub Feeney, who instead became president of the National League. Kuhn was the youngest (42), tallest (6-foot-5), and heaviest (240 pounds, 109 kg) commissioner in history.

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