John Hanley “Big John” Cannady

John Hanley “Big John” Cannady

Charleston, Charleston County, South Carolina, USA
Death 23 Sep 2002 (aged 79)
Charleston, Charleston County, South Carolina, USA
Burial Unknown
Memorial ID 80025526 · View Source
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John H. Cannady - Former Giants linebacker Cannady dies: - September 29, 2002

John H. Cannady of Charleston, a former linebacker with the New York Giants who later moved to Charleston and opened Big John's Tavern, one of the city's most well-known watering holes, died Saturday. He was 79.

The first professional football player from Charleston, Cannady was the Giants' second round draft pick in 1947 and played from 1947 to 1954. He played in the league's Pro Bowl game in 1950 and 1952.

In 1970, he was named one of Indiana University's 11 greatest football players. He played there from 1943 to 1946, helping the team win the Big Ten title for the first time in 67 years. He was named an All-American in 1945.

After Cannady was released by the Giants in 1955, he opened a nightspot on East Bay Street using borrowed money. The bar started out as a sailor's hangout and became a successful business, supporting Cannady and his mother.

Cannady sold the business about 12 years ago, but it continues to operate today, mostly as a haunt for Citadel cadets and food and beverage workers.

"He had a real no-nonsense kind of attitude in his bar," said Chris Condon, current co-owner of Big John's Tavern who frequented the bar when Cannady owned it. "He remembered almost everyone by their faces - not necessarily by their names. He was a fixture."

Condon said the wooden bar top has visible marks at the end where Cannady used to rest his elbows and slide his beer back and forth.

Not long after he sold the bar, Cannady was named to the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame in 1991, and he also made The Post and Courier's list of South Carolina's 100 greatest athletes of the 20th century.

Funeral arrangements will be announced by Stuhr's Downtown Chapel.

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  • Created by: Peterborough K
  • Added: 7 Nov 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 80025526
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for John Hanley “Big John” Cannady (5 Sep 1923–23 Sep 2002), Find A Grave Memorial no. 80025526, ; Maintained by Peterborough K (contributor 46537737) Unknown.