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William A. Looney '33 (2000)


In the decade before World War II, at the height of the Great Depression, William A. Looney distinguished himself as an outstanding athlete in three different sports at the Academy. Truly an all-around athlete, Bill claimed eight major letters in track and field, football, and basketball during his career at Loyola. He was a three-year letterman in track and field, captaining the team his senior year. He won individual Catholic League titles in the high jump in both 1932 and 1933, setting new League records each year. He also took silver medals in the pole vault and the broad jump. Bill earned three varsity letters in basketball, one with the 1931 Catholic League lightweight champions as sophomores, the other two with the varsity. He was selected to the Catholic League All-Star team in his senior year. Bill lettered twice in football as a two-way end, earning All-Star status his final season. Clearly, with eight major letters and All-League honors in three sports, Bill established himself as one of the top athletes in the Catholic League and in the City of Chicago. After graduation, Bill attended Loyola University to play basketball and run track. However, illness kept him out of his freshman year of competition, and he was finally forced to give up collegiate athletics altogether. From 1938 until his retirement in 1980, Bill enjoyed a long career as a sales representative for United Airlines, interrupted only by the outbreak of World War II. When war erupted, Bill entered the U.S. Marine Corps. He was sent to the South Pacific, where he served with the First Marine Division. He did so with distinction, and was awarded the Silver Star and the Bronze Star for heroism.

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