Karl Eller

Inducted Class of 1999

Karl Eller graduated from Tucson High School in 1946, where he played basketball and football. His football team played 33 games undefeated. After a tour in the military, he enrolled at the University of Arizona where he played football until graduation in 1952. Today in the business world, he is nationally known for building several major enterprises. Closer to home he has helped to put Arizona “on the map” by helping to found the Fiesta Bowl and to get the phoenix Suns established. As a result, he is known as “Mr. Sportsman of Arizona.”

His accomplishments in business, along with his contributions of energy and leadership to numerous community organizations, have earned him many awards and accolades. But his first love has always been the University of Arizona. He founded and funded the Karl Eller Center for the Study of the Private Market Economy; and his continuous generosity prompted the University to name its graduate business school in his honor. Largely due to his vision and drive, the Eller Center was a first mover in education for entrepreneurship. Its program immediately won national recognition and its graduates have launched many new enterprises. He plays an active role in the program, meeting with each year’s class to share his insights and continues to be an outstanding role model for the graduates. His commitment to quality education has been exemplified by his pledging millions of dollars to endow the Eller Center.