David “Sonny” A. Werblin, formerly a talent agent with the Music Corporation of America, represented Bob Hope, Jack Benny, Johnny Carson, and Elizabeth Taylor. As head of MCA-TV in the 1950s, and later president of the conglomerate, he was responsible for the success of the Ed Sullivan and Jackie Gleason shows. When the American Football League’s New York Titans were up for sale in 1963, Werblin and four partners acquired the franchise for $1 million and renamed it the New York Jets. He drafted University of Alabama quarterback Joe Namath and turned the Jets into a major professional team. He then transformed the Hackensack swamplands into a sports capital serving New Jersey and New York. As chair of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority in 1971, he gathered the funding to build the Meadowlands Sports Complex, which today houses Giants Stadium, the Meadowlands Racetrack, and Izod Arena. After six years at the NJSEA and a stint as CEO of Madison Square Garden Corporation, Werblin semi-retired and turned his talents toward Rutgers, serving as a trustee and a member of the Board of Governors. He died in 1991.
David “Sonny” A. Werblin
Sports Promoter, Entrepreneur
RUTGERS COLLEGE 1931
Hall of Distinguished Alumni Class of