Farber's Fame

By Scott Cole / January / February 2002
July 1st, 2007
Lou Farber '29, the last surviving member of Brown's renowned Iron Men football team of 1926, died November 5 in Arizona at age 94. Farber was a sophomore guard on the 1926 team that gained national acclaim and the Iron Men moniker when its eleven starters played almost four complete games without a single substitution on the way to an unbeaten season. The Iron Men began their endurance streak midway through the season by playing the entire sixty minutes in consecutive shutout victories at Yale, 7а0, and Dartmouth, 10а0. Two weeks later the Iron Men played all but two minutes of Brown's 21а0 win at Harvard. The Iron Men went the distance again two weeks later, playing all sixty minutes of the team's season-ending 10б10 tie against Colgate before a Thanksgiving-morning crowd numbering nearly 30,000 at Brown Stadium. Football players of that era often played both offense and defense, but having one unit play an entire game was unusual. Brown finished 9а0б1, the only unbeaten season in the school's football history. The New York Telegram ranked Brown number two in the nation at one point during the season.

Nicknamed Tarzan, Farber received a 1926 All-America honorable mention from the New York Times. Brown slumped to 3ж6б1 in 1927 but soared to an 8б1 season in Farber's senior year. Farber taught and coached football at East Providence High School in the 1930s and 1940s before moving his family to Tucson in 1950. He coached high school football for twenty-two years in Arizona, where he won a pair of state titles and was named the state's coach of the year in 1961. A member of the Brown Athletic Hall of Fame, Farber was active in encouraging Arizona athletes to attend Brown and wrote to them frequently throughout their college years. He is survived by a son, a brother, seven grandchildren, and fourteen great-grandchildren.

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January / February 2002