Arnold "Red" Auerbach, the greatest basketball coach of all time, died of a heart attack on October 28, 2006. He was 89 years old. As head coach of the Boston Celtics from 1950 to 1966, he led his team to nine NBA championships, including eight straight titles from 1959 to 1966. Even after Auerbach left the sidelines to serve as the Celtics' general manager, the legendary franchise continued its winning ways, claiming seven more NBA championships. Red's formula for success included treating people as individuals regardless of their racial, economic, or social backgrounds. As Wayne Embry, a former Celtic player, stated, "He respected you and your family and made us all welcome to the Celtics family. He had great compassion and created a family environment."
Red Auerbach's genius was widely recognized while he lived; he was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1968 and the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1979.