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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Knicks founder Irish, 76, dies of heart attack
By Larry Schwartz
Special to

Jan. 21, 1982

Ned Irish, the founder and former president of the New York Knicks from 1946-74 and one of the leaders in the development of college and pro basketball, dies of a heart attack in Venice, Fla. He was 76.

Irish left a job as a New York sportswriter in 1934 to work for Madison Square Garden. His first college promotion drew 16,180 fans to a doubleheader, with NYU defeating Notre Dame in the feature game.

Over the next decade, Irish spurred the growth of college basketball in New York. In 1946, he was one of the founders of the 11-team Basketball Association of America, which merged with the National Basketball League in 1949 to become the National Basketball Association.

He was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1964.

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