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Joe Donchess


Joseph Charles Donchess

Inducted 1979

Date of Birth



Youngstown, OH


University of Pittsburgh (1927-1929)


The year was 1929 and in those days if you were 6-0 and weighed 175-pounds you could be a terror on the football field. Such was Joe Donchess, a standout end from Pittsburgh. Although Donchess left school in the fifth grade to work in a steel mill, his education did not end there. Five years later, he was "discovered" by an alumnus of Wyoming Seminary, who sent him to that famous prep school. Donchess turned out to be a brilliant scholar and made up three grades in one year. Donchess then went on to attend Pittsburgh where he earned scholastic as well as athletic distinction. The Panthers were undefeated in the 1929 regular season, the year Donchess was chosen as a consensus All-America. Pittsburgh went to the Rose Bowl that season, but despite its five All-America players, Pitt was defeated by the University of Southern California, 47-14. Donchess also participated in the 1928 Rose Bowl against Stanford, and again, despite a powerful team, suffered a bitter 7-6 defeat. Donchess was a second team Al-America as a sophomore and a first teamer the next season. In 1937, Joe became Assistant Chief Surgeon at U.S. Steel and then Chief Surgeon there in 1943, a position he held until his retirement in 1965.


Height 6'0

Weight 175

Career Highlights

  • 1929 Unanimous All-America
  • 1928 First Team All-America
  • 1927 Second Team All-America
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