Jack Kennedy Inducted 1988 - Class of 1947
Jack Kennedy, Class of 1947, is a recognized name among Toledo civic and sports leaders. After being named Supervisor of Recreation in 1972, he was appointed Commissioner of Recreation for the City of Toledo in 1978, a position he still holds. Jack directly supervises all recreational programming, including, Athletics, Swimming pools, Ottawa Park ice rink, Special Events, Older Adult Recreation Citiparks, and the program for the handicapped. His recreation and athletic achievements have received numerous state and national awards.
Jack's involvement in the Toledo business community has included ownership of the Toledo Swim and Health Club, Universal Motors, Ohio Sales and Service, Kennedy-Savage Sporting Goods, the Dunk and Dribble Basketball Camp, Toledo Mercury Basketball Team Promotions, and the ownership of several local restaurants. He is currently a member of many local groups including: South Toledo Senior Center; Seniors, Inc., Citizens' Advisory Recreation Commission; University of Toledo Alumni Association; Varsity T Club; Woodward Alumni; Old Newsboys; Ohio Parks and
Recreation Association; the Amateur Softball Association; Toledo Baseball-Softball Commission; Toledo Basketball Commission; Toledo Soccer Commission; National Swimming Pool Association; Catholic War Veterans; Knights of Columbus; City-Wide Hall of Fame Commission; Western Lake Erie Swim League; North Toledo Community House; Catholic Club; and the Y.M.C.A.
Jack's athletic career was prompted by his enthusiasm for sports at Woodward High School where he lettered in baseball, basketball, football, tennis, and track. As a result of these athletic endeavors, he received many honors including: Basketball All-City first team; third leading scorer in Toledo City Basketball League; Basketball All-District first team; and, Woodward's most valuable player in basketball. In football, he lettered three times, being named second team All-City. He also reached the District finals in tennis his senior year. While at Woodward, he was also active in activities; serving as Sergeant at Arms his sophomore and senior years, and as Class President his junior year.
After graduating from Woodward, Jack received a full basketball scholarship to Bowling Green State University, where he played one year and, then, transferred to the University of Toledo, again playing one year of basketball. In 1949, he turned pro to play with the Toledo Mercuries, a basketball team that toured with the famous Harlem Globetrotters.
In 1951, Jack was drafted into the United States Army, where he continued playing service basketball and was eventually named to the U.S. Army All-Star team.
Upon discharge from the Army in 1953, Jack again toured with the Globetrotters as a member of the Washington Generals. He then returned to Toledo and rejoined the Toledo Mercuries until the team disbanded in 1956. Once again, he was placed on call by the Globetrotter organization to tour with them. After leaving this tour, Jack played basketball for the Toledo Twisters and the Toledo Tartans in the Continental League and later became a franchise holder in the league.
After being reinstated at the amateur level, Jack played basketball and fast and slow-pitch softball. He may be the only player in Toledo Federation League history to play on city championship teams in all three sports. His biggest accomplishment at the amateur level may have been playing on two national Y.M.C.A. championship teams and being named first team All-American two times. Today, Jack still remains active in athletics by participating twice weekly in full court basketball with younger players, including sons of several former teammates.
Jack and his lovely wife, Barbara, who is Placement Director for Davis Junior College of Business, reside on Queenswood Boulevard in Toledo. His son, Kevin, is employed as an accountant by the Lucas County Commissioners. Jack's mother, Winifred, who attended old Woodward Tech, still lives in Toledo. "Everything I have, I owe to her," said Jack.