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Harry Glickman

Harry Glickman - Special Contribution to Sports

Among the Oregonians who’ve been involved with the promotion and development of professional events and teams in Oregon, Harry Glickman stands alone for his work in founding, developing and then maintaining the state’s most successful events and teams, including the Portland Trail Blazers.

He is regarded as “The Father of Pro Sports in Oregon.”

Born in Portland in 1924, Glickman played basketball at Lincoln High School and, upon graduation in 1941, attended the University of Oregon, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism. At Oregon, he served as director of the university’s athletic news bureau, and wrote for the school paper as well as the Eugene Register-Guard.

Throughout the 1950s, he promoted boxing matches and preseason games for National Football League teams at Portland’s Multnomah Stadium before finding a group of investors to purchase a franchise in the Western Hockey League in 1960.

Under Glickman’s guidance as General Manager, the Portland Buckaroos were an immediate success and won the league title in their first year, while regularly attracting more than 10,000 fans per game into Memorial Coliseum, which opened in 1960. The Buckaroos won WHL titles in 1961, ’65 and ’71.

 Although professional hockey expanded several times in the ‘60s, and Glickman remained dedicated to the sport until the Buckaroos folded in 1974, he sought an expansion team for Portland in the late ‘60s. That franchise became the Portland Trail Blazers.

Glickman ran the Blazers as General Manager, while also running the Buckaroos for several seasons as its owner.

Glickman oversaw the roster moves that built the Blazers into the NBA champions in 1977, and served as GM until 1987, when the original investors sold the team to Paul Allen. He served as team president until 1994, when the Blazers moved from Memorial Coliseum into the Rose Garden.

He remains President Emeritus of the Blazers.

In honor of his work in promotion, the media center at the Rose Garden is named for him, as is the annual honor for the state’s top amateur athlete at the Oregon Sports Awards. He wrote his autobiography, “Promoter Ain’t a Dirty Word,” in 1977, and was cited as Portland’s First Citizen in 1992.

Glickman, who lives in Portland, was inducted to the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1986. He is also a member of the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.