George Franck
Born:(1918-09-23)September 23, 1918
Davenport, Iowa
Died:January 19, 2011(2011-01-19) (aged 92)
Rock Island, Illinois
Career information
NFL draft1941 / Round: 1 / Pick: 6
Career history
As player
1941–1947New York Giants
Career stats

George Henning "Sonny" Franck (September 23, 1918 – January 19, 2011) was an American football halfback who played in the National Football League (NFL) for the New York Giants.

Early years

Franck was born in Davenport, Iowa. After his playing years and early teaching and coaching career he returned to nearby Rock Island, Illinois.

Franck played college football at the University of Minnesota from 1938-1940, where he was a key player in the dominant national championship team of 1940. While in college Franck was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity.[1] He was drafted in the first round (sixth overall) in the 1941 NFL Draft. Franck was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2002.[2]

War service

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, Franck joined the United States Marines Corps and served as pilot. He was a spotter during the Battle of Iwo Jima, and he saw Notre Dame football star Jack Chevigny taking cover in a crater shortly before Chevigny was killed in action. Frank later served aboard the USS Hornet.[3]


After the war, he continued to play with the Giants from 1945 to 1947. He eventually became a high school teacher and coach in Oklahoma City and then Rock Island High School in Illinois. He was a member of Broadway Presbyterian Church and enjoyed bowling. He was survived by Helen, his wife of 57 years.[4] He bought and lived in the Shields House in Highland Park Historic District in Rock Island, IL.,[5] which is now owned by Filipino-American author, Jason Tanamor.[6]


  1. ^ 1940 Minnesota Gopher yearbook, p.70, accessed 12 Aug 2020.
  2. ^ "George Franck Stats".
  3. ^ "Sonny Franck dead at 92".
  4. ^ "George H. "Sonny" Franck". Archived from the original on 2011-07-18. Retrieved 2011-01-21.
  5. ^ Highland Park Historic District
  6. ^ "'Like living in a 1950s neighborhood'".