WVU Sports Hall of Fame
Written by Bryan Messerly
Bill Karr, a native of Ripley, W.Va., was a three-sport standout in football, baseball and boxing from 1930-32.
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Karr was a three-year letterman at end, playing for Ira Errett Rodgers and Earle “Greasy” Neale. He is a member of the 1930-39 all-decade team at WVU, and earned one varsity letter in baseball and boxing.
Following his time at WVU, Karr played six seasons (1933-38) with the NFL’s Chicago Bears for coach George “Papa Bear” Halas. He caught 48 passes for 1,032 yards and had 18 touchdowns. Karr was selected to the all-NFL squad and earned all-pro recognition in 1935, when six of his nine receptions went for touchdowns. He scored the winning touchdown in the 1933 NFL title game.
He led the NFL in receiving touchdowns in 1933 (3) and in 1935 (6). In a 1968 edition of Football News, Halas hailed Karr as one of the greatest ends he had ever coached.
Following his football career, Karr worked for the West Virginia State Police and owned a business in Clendenin, W.Va.
Karr and his wife, Jeanne, had four children, Bill III, David, Jane and Deborah. Karr passed away on Oct. 29, 1979. His nephew, Dick Rader, played football for the Mountaineers from 1963-65.