Jack Shapiro
Personal information
Date of birth: (1907-03-22)March 22, 1907
Place of birth: New York City, New York
Date of death: February 5, 2001(2001-02-05) (aged 93)
Place of death: Carrollton, Georgia
Career information
College: New York University
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
* Staten Island Stapletons ( 1929)
Career highlights and awards
  • N/A
Stats at
Stats at

Jack Emanuel "Soupy" Shapiro (March 22, 1907 – February 5, 2001) was a professional football player who played in one game with the Staten Island Stapletons of the National Football League (NFL) in 1929. Shapiro is most famous for being the shortest player in NFL history at about 5 ft 1 in (Script error m). He was featured on the special NFL Films Presents: One-game Wonders.[citation needed]

Early lifeEdit

In 1907, Shapiro was born in New York City, New York, United States, North America. His parents had immigrated[when?] to the United States with their previous four boys and three girls, as well as their niece. Jack was the only one of his family to be born in America. His father and two of his brothers did odd jobs for a living, resulting in earnings of $9.00 a week.[citation needed]

Shapiro attended Evander Child High School in the Bronx. While in high school, he was a starter on the football team for three straight years. During the last game in his senior year, however, he was injured and was forced out of the game. His playing weight in high school was 85 pounds (39 kg).[citation needed]

College careerEdit

Prior to joining the Stapletons, Shapiro played college football, while attending New York University. He played fullback for the Violets in 1927 when the team posted a 7-1-2 record while outscoring their opponents by 345-65. He joined the NYU team his freshman year as a "walk on". By his sophomore year, he was given a full scholarship and was awarded a varsity letterman that season.[citation needed]

Afterwards, Shapiro moonlighted as a professional football player for a team in Meriden, Connecticut. The team was sponsored by the Sons of Italy.[citation needed]


In 1929, Shapiro played in one NFL game with Staten Island. As the shortest player in the history of the NFL, Shapiro played as a blocking back in the Stapletons' 34-0 victory over the Minneapolis Red Jackets. Shapiro later stated that he was, in fact, on the Stapletons roster for five games, playing in two regular-season games and one exhibition game. The regular-season games were late in the season against the Minneapolis Red Jackets and Orange Tornadoes.[citation needed]


In 1999, Shapiro received recognition in the Guinness Book of Records as being the shortest player on record in NFL history.[citation needed]

See alsoEdit



External linksEdit

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