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Vincent Thomas Lombardi was born on June 11, 1913 in Brooklyn, New York, one of five children. He was raised in the Catholic faith and studied the priesthood for two years before transferring to St. Francis Preparatory High School, where he was a star fullback on the football team. Lombardi was accepted at New York City’s Fordham University in 1933. After a year on the freshman team, Lombardi became a defensive guard known as the “Seven Blocks of Granite.” He graduated magna cum laude with a business major in 1937.

Vince Lombardi worked at a finance company, took night classes at Fordham’s law school and played semi-pro football with Delaware’s Wilmington Clippers. In 1939 he took a teaching and coaching job at St. Cecilia High School in Englewood, New Jersey. Hence began one of the most successful coaching careers in history.

Lombardi is best known for his acceptance of a five-year contract in Wisconsin as the general manager and head coach of perpetual losers the Green Bay Packers. Vince Lombardi expected obedience, dedication and 110% effort from each man, but he also made a promise to them: if they obeyed his rules and used his method, they would be a championship team. Three years later, on December 31, 1961, the Packers defeated the New York Giants 37-0 for the National Football League championship.

In 1967, after nine phenomenal winning seasons with the Packers, Vince Lombardi retired. The Packers had dominated professional football under his direction, collecting six division titles, five NFL championships, two Super Bowls (I and II) and acquiring a record of 98-30-4. After less than a year, however, he realized that he still wanted to coach, accepting the head coaching position for the Washington Redskins in 1969.

In January of 1970, his professional coaching record stood at a remarkable 105-35-6, unmarred by a losing season, and the NFL named him their acclaimed “1960s Man of the Decade.” He was diagnosed with intestinal cancer and died on September 3, 1970. The Super Bowl trophy named in his honor.

“The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their commitment to excellence, regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”

“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.”

“We would accomplish many more things if we did not think of them as impossible.”

“Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.”

“Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger or faster man. But sooner or later the man who wins, is the man who thinks he can.”

“Leaders aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal.”

“Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence.”

“Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.”

“The dictionary is the only place that success comes before work. Hard work is the price we must pay for success. I think you can accomplish anything if you’re willing to pay the price.”

“Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”

“Inches make champions.”

“If it doesn’t matter who wins or loses, then why do they keep score?”

“If you aren’t fired with enthusiasm, you will be fired with enthusiasm.”

“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.”

“Fatigue makes cowards of us all.”

“Winners never quit and quitters never win.”