Clarence Sutherland Campbell, MBE, sport administrator, lawyer, Second World War veteran (born 7 September 1905 in Fleming, SK; died 23 June 1984 in Montréal, QC). As president of the National Hockey League from 1946 to 1977, Campbell's tenure was longer than any executive in any other sport.
Education and War Service
Clarence Campbell graduated from the University of Alberta and then attended Oxford as a Rhodes scholar in 1925–26. A lawyer, he joined the army in summer 1940 and by 1944 commanded the Headquarters Squadron of the 4th Canadian Armoured Division. At the end of the Second World War, he joined the Canadian War Crimes Investigation Unit and was part of the team under Lieutenant-Colonel Bruce Macdonald that successfully prosecuted SS general Kurt Meyer (see Normandy Massacres). For his service during the war, Campbell was mentioned in dispatches (MID) and was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).
Campbell’s suspension of hockey star Maurice "Rocket" Richard in March 1955, which touched off a riot in Montréal, was perhaps his most controversial act as NHL president, but he was also instrumental in the inauguration of the all-star game (1947), the NHL pension society (1948), the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto (1960) and league expansion to its present size. After retirement, Campbell was found guilty of conspiracy and influence-peddling in the "Sky Shops Affair," but was only sentenced to a "symbolic" day in prison and a fine of $25,000 (paid by the NHL).