George Gipp died from pneumonia and a strep infection during his senior year at Notre Dame in 1920. Portrayed by Ronald Reagan in Knute Rockne, All American, he is supposed to have urged his teammates from his deathbed to "win just one for the Gipper."
On Oct. 4, his body was exhumed in Michigan, and a DNA sample taken.
[Medical Examiner Dr. Dawn] Nulf said she was contacted a couple of months ago by a family representative seeking the DNA test. She determined a court order was not required for the body to be exhumed. Instead, the family presented an affidavit that was approved by the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department.The reason for the exhumation was not given. My guess? Notre Dame needed another pep talk.
Nulf declined to identify the relative but referred a reporter to Mike Bynum, a sports author who has researched Gipp and attended the exhumation. Bynum said it was requested by Rick Frueh, whose grandmother was one of Gipp's sisters. [Link]