Gerald E. Dennerlein, All American, N.Y. Giants Football

Gerald E. Dennerlein

All American, New York Giants Football

Gerald Edwin Dennerlein was born December 1st, 1915 to James and Hazel Dennerlein in Ambridge, Beaver County, Pennsylvania.  Gerald’s grandparents, Johan (John) and Sophie had immigrated from Germany and came to settle in Pennsylvania. He had a younger sister, Darlene and a younger brother, James.  He grew up living on State Street in Badon Burough, Beaver County, Pennsylvania.

Gerald attended school in Pennsylvania, going to Rochester High School, Rochester, Pennsylvania during his sophomore (10th grade) year.  During that summer of 1931, his family moved to the East Los Angeles area, and Gerald entered Garfield High School. Here at Garfield High School he will complete the 11th (September 1931 to June 1932) and 12th grades (September 1932 to June of 1933),  graduating with the Summer Class of 1933.  

While at Garfield he participated in both Varsity Football (then called A Football) both years and Varsity Track (A Track Team) also both years.  Gerald or “Penn” as many called him, held the Garfield record for the shot put at 49’ 10½” (1935 Summer Yearbook, page 28).

Gerald also met his wife, Rosellen Jones at Garfield High School.  She was a sophomore, when he was a junior. She graduated with the Summer Class of 1934, and probably married sometime between 1934 and 1936. His family, father, mother, sister and brother moved back to Pennsylvania sometime after his graduation, while Gerald made California his home.

After leaving Garfield, he attended St. Mary’s College (Moraga, California) playing for the football team and earning a Bachelor’s Degree.  In 1936 he was named one of the All-America squad of 33 collegiate performers, picked by analysis from the best in the country presented by the Associated Press.  After college he played left tackle for 3 years for the Los Angeles Bulldogs and N.Y. Giants and still found time to attend U.S.C. earning a Masters Degree in Education (1940, and later in 1958 a Doctorate in Education).

His father, John Edwards Dennerlein worked as a brick layer all his life, passed away in April, 1955, due to complications from cancer.

Leaving professional sports, Gerald spent several years in elementary school administrative positions, including being principal at such places as Elsinore, Azusa and Rockpile Elementary School in Bakersfield (all in California).  He then taught at Poly High School in Long Beach, California for 11 years and then at Woodrow Wilson High School (also in Long Beach) as a social studies teacher until his death on July 29th, 1966 at 50 years of age. His wife was an elementary school teacher and his home was at 56 59th Place, Long Beach, California.  Gerald is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Cypress, Orange County, California.

At St. Mary's (California), Gerald was on the college team for 4 years, but was not on the roster in 1933, but made the roster in 1934, 1935 and 1936.  Gerald was then drafted in the 3rd round (24th overall) by the 1937 New York Giants.   He stood 6’2” and weighed 235 pounds. Below are the teams he played for as a professional player.




Jersey #

Position Played

Games Played

Games Started


New York Giants



Left Offensive Tackle / Defensive Tackle Solo




Los Angeles Bulldogs







New York Giants



Right Offensive Tackle / Defensive Tackle Solo




Los Angeles Mustangs







Hollywood Wolves