Lou Gehrig Initiated1922
Henry Louis Gehrig was born in the Yorkville section of Manhattan in New York City, on June 19, 1903. His parents, Heinrich and Christina Gehrig, were German immigrants who’d moved to their new country just a few years before their son’s birth.
The only one of the four Gehrig children to survive infancy, Lou faced a childhood that was shaped by poverty. His father struggled to stay sober and keep a job, while his mother, a strong woman who was intent on creating a better life for her son, worked constantly, cleaning houses and cooking meals for New Yorkers, including at the Phi Delta Theta house at Columbia.
A devoted parent, Christina pushed hard for her son to get a good education and got behind her son’s athletic pursuits, which were many. From an early age, Gehrig showed himself to be a gifted athlete, excelling in both football and baseball.
After graduating from high school, Gehrig enrolled at Columbia University, where he was initiated into Phi Delta Theta on April 10, 1922, studied engineering, and played fullback on the football team. In addition, he made the school’s baseball team, pitching solidly for the club and earning the nickname Columbia Lou from adoring fans.