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The Man Who Coined The Phrase ‘March Madness’ Taught At Keithsburg High School

March 21st, 2014

hv porter 2The man who coined the phrase ‘March Madness’ has ties to Mercer County. The late Henry Porter, who served as an IHSA  administrator, first used the phrase in a 1939 essay entitled “March Madness”. The piece appeared in the IHSA magazine Illinois High School Athlete.  Porter’s early career in education involved a stop at Keithsburg High School between 1912 and 1918, according to local historian Stephanie Braucht, who spoke with WRMJ’s Jim Taylor this morning.

A Chicago businessmen Charles Besser and his company Intersport, trademarked the phrase in 1989, and eventually sold the license to the NCAA for $17.2 million in 2010, according to a Los Angeles Times story. The IHSA has surrendered its ownership stake in the phrase, but has retained the high school rights.

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