(Born: April 1870, Died: August 12, 1908). George Jewett is the only person to appear twice in this list. Jewett was the first African American at both the University of Michigan and Northwestern University. He is also the first African American to letter in football at any Big 10 school. He began in 1890, playing for the University of Michigan as a fullback. He became the leader scorer, kicker and rusher at Michigan and is known as ” one of the greatest stars in the pre-Yost era”. While at Michigan, Jewett studied medicine but after a run-in with the dean of medicine, Jewett transferred to Northwestern University.
After college, Jewett went on to practice medicine in Chicago. According to a 1900 census however, he had returned to Ann Arbor and was occupied as a janitor. He later opened “The Valet” in Ann Arbor which has been reported as being a dry cleaning shop or a cleaning and pressing shop. He died suddenly in 1908. He was inducted into the Pioneer High School Hall of Fame in 2004. Jewett opened the door for the other Big Ten Firsts to achieve greatness at their respective Universities.