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Jules Rimet
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Sports Executive
    (October 14, 1873-October 16, 1956)
    Born in Theuley, France
    President of the French Football Association (1919-42)
    Third President of FIFA (1921-54)
    Organized the first World Cup (1930)
    Original World Cup trophy was renamed the Jules Rimet Trophy in his honor (1946)
    Ironically, he never played soccer. (His sports had been fencing and track).
    His desire to have professionals compete in the World Cup was opposed by the International Olympic Committee and various amateur football associations.
    His decision to hold the first World Cup in Uruguay was unpopular in Europe since, in the era before trans-Atlantic air service, players would be unavailable for domestic tournaments for three months. As a result, only four European countries sent teams.
    He was accused of turning a blind eye when Benito Mussolini used the second World Cup, held in Italy, as propaganda for his regime (1934).
    The original Jules Rimet Trophy was stolen and never recovered (1983) and is rumored to have been melted down and sold.
    He received the Croix de Guerre during World War I.
    He was the longest serving FIFA President.
    During his presidency, FIFA expanded from twelve to 85 nations.
    He created the world's most watched sporting event.
    One profile claimed, 'Of all the Frenchmen who touched the consciousness of the world in the last century - Charles de Gaulle, Henri Matisse, Marcel Proust - M. Rimet reached more people, in more countries, more lastingly than any other.'

Credit: C. Fishel

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