Howard R. Grimes '40
Howard R. Grimes '40 was an All-Conference, All-America football center with the durability to earn the nickname "Ironman." A native of Manilla, Iowa, Grimes as a senior captained Grinnell's first football team in the Midwest Conference. As captain he rode around the field with the men who had played 50 years earlier when Grinnell defeated Iowa, 24-0, in that famous first college game west of the Mississippi. Fifty years later, in 1989, Howard presented a centennial plaque at Rosenbloom Field on behalf of the '40 class. Center on offense and one of the most roving linebackers on defense, the 6'1", 185-pound Grimes showed his leadership by playing all 480 minutes of eight games. His rugged play earned him positions on the All-Midwest Conference and the Liberty Magazine All-America teams. Howard signed a pro contract with the New York Giants and played three games with the Des Moines Comets farm club, but the pay of $125 per game and doubtful longevity of the job were not as tempting as a career with Aetna Life Insurance. In 1964 Grimes was named a Sports Illustrated Silver Anniversary All-American, an honor that recognizes athletic ability and contribution to society after graduation. After a pause for World War II service as an Air Corps pilot, Howard climbed the ladder with Aetna, retiring as a vice president of the northeast region. Grimes has a record of distinguished service to his community of Waterville Valley, N.H., and the college. He has been active in Grinnell alumni council. He was recognized with an alumni award in 1965.