I posted this earlier for the Countdown series, but wanted to share Mr. Csuri's remarkable story for those of you that missed it. Mr. Csuri is another one of the great people/players from Ohio State that deserve more recognition. His accomplishments off of the field are amazing.
On the football field Charles Csuri was a team captain, All-American and National Champion. After college, Csuri joined the army, fought in WWII and earned a Bronze Star for his efforts during the Battle of the Bulge. After WWII, Csuri became a professor at Ohio State and a pioneer in computer and digital arts.
IH8UOFM found this great video of Csuri's pep talk for the 2010 Game. The video was shown to the team the night before The Game. It also includes the parents of that season's seniors talking to the team. Warning: If you watch the video you will be proud to be a Buckeye and primed to hurt a Wolverine.
Csuri's time in the Army per an article written by Robert Gartrell of The Lantern on 11-22-10:
Csuri was sent into combat when the Army needed more troops and served as a forward observer with the 69th Infantry Division, helping to direct artillery fire. He entered at the beginning of the Battle of the Bulge and nearly left in a casket.
"You do things like that when you're very young," Csuri said. "When you're 20 to 21 years of age, you think you're invincible in a way, or you can't conceive of your being killed in some respects."At one point during the battle, the lines of communication between the front line and the artillery unit had been disconnected, and Csuri volunteered to take information back to Allied headquarters. In the snow-covered forest, he said, he ran across enemy lines, getting his helmet and belt pack shot off during the trek.
Csuri said he doesn't remember much from that episode or the contents of the message he delivered. Nonetheless, he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for heroism during the battle.
Not long after receiving the medal, he tucked it away in a drawer, where it stayed for several years before his daughter discovered it.
Before the 2010 season started, his daughter gave the medal to Tressel, who has it displayed in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.
"It was good what I did, but what can I say?" Csuri said. "It's one of those things that I did when I was very young, but I've long since forgotten about it."
Csuri and the uniforms worn for The Game in 2010 per Gartrell of The Lantern:
Former Ohio State lineman Charles Csuri was hesitant to go to New York City on Sept. 1, even though coach Jim Tressel pleaded for him to do so.
Nike was unveiling its line of Pro Combat jerseys, and OSU's uniforms were to resemble the ones worn by the 1942 squad, which Csuri was a part of, that brought the school its first national championship. ...
...Nike designed the uniforms to pay homage to the team members who traded their OSU uniforms for those of the Armed Forces during World War II. Csuri served as a corporal in the Army during the war, and Tressel wanted him at the event to speak at the press conference.
Csuri reluctantly decided to attend the unveiling after his wife persuaded him. But at 88, getting around isn't as easy for him as it once was, even though his dark hair and firm handshake belie his age.
At the event, Csuri spoke to a crowd of media about his former teammates while standing next to a stagehand dressed in the uniform. Unknown to him, there was a bronze star on the helmet and gloves with his initials printed on them.
When someone from Nike pointed the star out to Csuri as he was leaving the stage, he realized why Tressel was begging him to go.
"I was surprised, flattered, honored and slightly embarrassed," Csuri said of the decal. "It was nice."
Life after football and WWII per Gartrell and The Lantern:
"When I came back, I didn't have the psychological makeup to be as aggressive about things as I was before I went into the war," Csuri said. "I had no desire to play professional football."
Instead, he rediscovered his interest in art, studying from renowned art professor Hoyt L. Sherman with classmate and future pop artist Roy Lichtenstein. Csuri thrived as a student after years of academic mediocrity...
...After several years of teaching drawing and painting to undergraduates, Csuri began studying computers in 1963, hoping to find ways to use technology to expand his artwork and use what he learned when he studied before deployment...
...When Csuri began working with computers, there was only one computer on the OSU campus. It was larger than most classrooms and returned information on punch cards.
...From there, Csuri's research was at the cutting edge of computer graphics. His work studying human movement and graphic simulations of different environments even received funding from the Navy.Because there was no commercial software available at the time, Csuri — by then the school's director of Computer Graphics Research — and a group of doctorate students had to invent everything they worked with, including the algorithms that would generate graphic images...
In 1981, he co-founded Cranston/Csuri Productions (view their images), which was one of only three computer animation production companies in the world. The company lasted seven years before folding as productions like Disney became involved in computer graphics...
...Some of Csuri's former students include Chris Wedge, who directed "Ice Age," and Steve May, the vice president of Pixar Animation.
Csuri's advice to Ohio State football players per Gartrell and The Lantern:
But as much as Tressel preaches to his players about being well-rounded human beings, Csuri is discouraged at the failure of many athletes to heed such advice.
"I wish young people could realize that there is life after football," Csuri said. "It's a little disheartening to me that I talk to players and that almost every one of them thinks they'll make it in the NFL. They won't. And the ones that do make it will be there temporarily."
Jim Tressel fixes a wrong per Gartrell and The Lantern:
At an art function several years ago, Csuri's wife spotted Tressel, who was wearing his 2002 National Championship ring. During their conversation, Tressel learned that the players from the 1942 team were never awarded championship rings and, within a few weeks, had personalized rings ordered for every living player from the team.
But the unity among those players, more than any accolade or piece of jewelry, is what Csuri most treasures.
Beyond Boundaries, 1963-Present is a project from Charles Csuri.
Charles "Chuck" Csuri, Tackle (1941-43)
The Buckeyes were 18-8-1 with Csuri on the team.
1942 National Champions.
1942 Big Ten Title.
1942 Team MVP.
1945 Bronze Star for heroism in the Battle of the Bulge.
2000 Awarded Sullivant Medal by Ohio State.
Fought in WWII from 1943-46.
1949 became a faculty member at Ohio State's Department of Art.
1978 became a Professor of Art Education.
1986 became a Professor of Computer Information Science.
Currently a Professor Emeritus at the Advanced Computing Center of Art and Design at Ohio State.
Work done by Cranston/Csuri Productions. If you are old enough you will remember the Super Bowl and Ohio Lottery graphics: