Among the winners after the first year (1935) was a long-time
prominent resident of Glendale, Dr. Leslie Horvath, who was the 10th
Heisman winner (1944).
He had led the Ohio State Buckeyes to a national title and became
the first of OSU's five Heisman winners. He was a single wing
tailback and his signal calling (no plays were sent in from the
sideline) was so astute that coach Carroll Widdoes said Les was "my
coach on the field."
Horvath had been a high school star in Cleveland and wanted
desperately to play football at Notre Dame. However, at 160 pounds,
he was rejected, judged by the Irish to be too small. However, at
Ohio State he was a big man at that weight, and proved that toughness
often counters the lack of size.
Entering the NFL with the Los Angeles Rams, Horvath was a scatback
for two seasons, 1947 and 1948, then finished in 1949 with Cleveland.
In 1950, Dr. Horvath returned to this area to practice dentistry
and chose Glendale as his year-around home. At the same time, he
married Shirley, a sparkling brunette flight attendant. Les was a
happy man. He had a Heisman trophy, was living where he wanted to
live, was a success from the beginning in his dental practice and was
married to one of the loveliest of the lovelies.
Shirley was not a rabid football fan, but an avid Les Horvath fan.
He was a fine golfer and she made the rounds with him at Oakmont,
where he was a low handicap player.
When they opened their home in Glendale, Les put his impressively
sculptured Heisman Trophy on modest display. Shirley looked at the
statue and asked, "What is that?"
Les smiled and replied, in his proud but quiet manner, "It's the
Heisman Trophy. I got it for being voted the best college player in
the nation for 1944. Only one player a year gets it."
Shirley accepted his explanation, but didn't hold it in high
regard very long. She and Les were invited to the home of KIEV Sports
Director Tom Harmon, who had won the eighth Heisman in 1940 while at
Shirley saw Harmon's copy of the trophy and decided that Tom, too,
must have been great.
Later, the Horvaths were invited to the home of Glenn Davis, the