The archival materials that make up this exhibit come from the Bob Kap Collection (AR0885). Bob Kap was born and raised in Yugoslavia from the 1920s to the 1940s. During his youth Kap was an avid soccer player, but in 1943 he responded to Tito’s call to Yugoslavian youth to resist the German occupation, and joined the Partisan army. This work involved secret missions like conducting surveillance and disabling bridges. By 1944 Kap was commanding a small battalion within the 12th Macedonian Liberation Assault Brigade.
Kap and his family moved to Canada to escape the Hungarian revolution, though they would have preferred to move to America. At the time, American policies on accepting Eastern European immigrants were tight and made that a difficult prospect. While in Canada, Kap worked as a sports writer and soccer coach for minor league and local teams, and even toured a team through South America. Kap was well connected with the soccer world, which allowed him to make contact with Lamar Hunt at an opportune time, and made his dream of living in America a reality.
After his time with the Dallas Tornado Soccer Club, Kap spent time recruiting European soccer players to kick for the National Football League (NFL). He designed a special type of kicking shoe with the laces positioned towards the outside edge of the shoe, so that they did not interfere with kicking. Kap was an avid entrepreneur and sports enthusiast throughout his life, patenting a special type of turf, marketing new sports, and speaking up for women's rights in the world of sports.
Bob Kap died in 2010, but his legacy lives on in his vast collection of correspondence, memorabilia, photography, and news clippings. Only a fraction of his collection is utilized in this exhibit, to tell a single story in the interesting and exciting life of Bob Kap.