Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Thomas Jesse Fears was the son of an American mining engineer, Charles William Fears, who had married a Mexican local, Carmen Valdes. The family moved to Los Angeles when Tom was age six. There, he began to display his ample work ethic by unloading flowers for 25 cents an hour, and later serving as an usher at football games for double that amount.
He took three years off to join the military during WWII before playing college football for the UCLA Bruins and is also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.
Fears was a was the talented split end for the Los Angeles Rams, playing nine seasons from 1948 to 1956. He was later an NFL assistant coach and the first Hispanic-American head coach of the New Orleans Saints and is a Hall of Fame Inductee.
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