Happy birthday to Chuck Taylor, father of the most popular shoe of all time. He was born on this day in 1901.
The Converse shoe company began in 1908. In 1917, they began producing a model called the “All Star.”
Chuck Taylor was a professional basketball player for the Akron Firebirds who fell in love with the shoe. In fact he loved the shoe so much, he wanted to work for the company.
In 1921, Taylor began traveling the country running basketball clinics, and selling the “All Star” at the same time. He not only taught the game, but wowed his audiences with the many basketball tricks he could do. He is credited with greatly spreading the popularity of basketball in this country.
He made a few changes to the design, improving the shoe. Converse was so pleased with him, they put a patch with his name on the side of the shoe.
Thus, the “Chuck Taylor All Stars” were born.
The 1936 Olympic basketball team won the gold medal in the heart of Nazi Germany wearing red white and blue “Chuck Taylors.”
When young American men trained to go fight world war two, they did it while wearing “Chuck Taylors.”
Over 800 million “Chuck Taylors” have been sold. Over 60 percent of all Americans have owned at least one pair in their life. Today, a pair is sold every 43 seconds.
I’m not sure what percentage of kids wear them. As a high school teacher, I can tell you the best way to quiet an unruly class. All you have to do is say:
“Would everyone wearing Chucks please stop talking.”
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