Gipper's Family Seethes Over Exhumation

Paternity questions, and Gipp, put to rest, but not controversy
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2007 3:04 PM CST
George Gipp was an All American from Notre Dame. (AP Photo/File)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Ronald Reagan played George Gipp in a movie about the football star’s life, but now a furor has erupted over the exhumation of Gipp’s body, 87 years after his death, the New York Times reports. Relatives and residents of his Michigan hometown remain incensed about the televised removal of his remains to prove—unsucessfully as it turns out—he fathered an illegitimate baby.

“It was crazy what went on at the cemetery," said a relative. A family lawyer says the backhoe at first dug up the wrong grave. Critics blamed sports writer Mike Bynum for staging the exhumation to help sell a book about Gipp, immortalized by a 1940 Reagan movie with the line “win one for the Gipper.” A relative laments, "I hope it doesn't do anything to soil his legacy."