Knute Rockne, All American featuring Ronald Reagan premiered in Oct. 1940
The phrase itself goes further back, but it’s been 75 years since eventual 40th President of the United States Ronald Reagan brought “win one for the Gipper” to the big screen.
Knute Rockne, All American was released on October 5, 1940. It premiered in South Bend and was eventually selected to be preserved by the National Film Registry. A biographical look at the life of famed Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne, it starred Pat O’Brien as Rockne and Reagan as George Gipper, a halfback for the Irish who falls fatally ill and delivers the now-famous line in the video below.
The film also features coaching legends Glenn “Pop” Warner, William H. Spaulding, Amos Alonzo Stagg and Howard Jones as themselves.
The speech became the most well-known moment of Reagan’s acting career and he was often referred to as "The Gipper" during his time in politics. Seventy-five years later (and 87 years after the original speech), “win one for the Gipper” stands.