On This Day

James Naismith

Basketball Inventor James Naismith

Profession: Basketball Inventor


Biography: Invented the sport of basketball in 1891.

He wrote the original basketball rule book, founded the University of Kansas basketball program, and lived to see basketball adopted as an Olympic demonstration sport in 1904 and as an official event at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, as well as the birth of both the National Invitation Tournament (1938) and the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship (1939).

Born: November 6, 1861
Birthplace: Almonte, Ontario, Canada
Star Sign: Scorpio

Died: November 28, 1939 (aged 78)
Cause of Death: Brain hemorrhage

Married Life

  • 1894-06-20 Basketball inventor James Naismith (32) weds Maude Evelyn Sherman (23) in Springfield, Massachusetts

Historical Events

  • 1891-12-21 1st game of basketball, based on rules created by James Naismith, played by 18 students in Springfield, Massachusetts
  • 1892-01-15 Basketball rules first published in Triangle Magazine, written by James Naismith

Biographies and Sources

Famous Inventors