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Charles C. Pyle (March 25, 1882 – February 3, 1939),[1][2] often called Cash and Carry Pyle, was a Champaign–Urbana, Illinois theater owner and sports agent who represented American football star Red Grange and French tennis player Suzanne Lenglen. After his signing of Grange in 1925 and Grange's becoming a star for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL), Pyle founded the first New York Yankees football team. When Pyle's application for the Yankees joining the NFL was rejected, he announced the formation of the first American Football League in 1926. The league lasted one season before folding.

C.C. Pyle
Suzanne Lenglen, Charles C. Pyle, 1926.jpg
Pyle with Suzanne Lenglen in 1926
Born:(1882-03-25)March 25, 1882
Died:February 3, 1939(1939-02-03) (aged 56)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Career history
As owner
1926Boston Bulldogs
1926Chicago Bulls
1926Los Angeles Wildcats
1926–1928New York Yankees
Career highlights and awards

In 1926, Pyle signed Lenglen and several of the best tennis players in the world to start the first professional tennis tour, which traveled throughout the U.S. and Canada.[3] Two years later, he inaugurated the first Trans-American Footrace, known as the Bunion Derby, an ambitious, 3455-mile-long foot race from Los Angeles, California, to Chicago, Illinois, to New York.[4][5] While the 1928 race was not a financial success, Pyle organized a 1929 "return" along essentially the same route, but from New York to Los Angeles.

After managing the "Ripley's Believe It or Not" exhibit in the Chicago World's Fair, Pyle married comedian Elvia Allman Tourtellotte in 1937. He became president of the Radio Transcription Company, a position that he held until his death of a heart attack in Los Angeles, February 3, 1939.[3]

A play based on his life, C.C. Pyle and the Bunion Derby, was written by Tony Award winner Michael Cristofer and directed by Paul Newman.


  1. ^ entry on C. C. Pyle on
  2. ^ Listing of C. C. Pyle on
  3. ^ a b "The Great American Foot Race". Archived from the original on 2008-06-15. Retrieved 2008-06-02.
  4. ^ The Great "Bunion Derby": Across America by Foot in 1927 Archived 2011-05-18 at the Wayback Machine - Running Times magazine
  5. ^ The Early Years of Route 66 in Phelps County, Missouri - John F. Bradbury Jr. in "Ozarkswatch", Fall 1993