Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Handsome Dan XII


The first and only female in the chain. She was chosen to recognize the admission of women to Yale College in 1969. "She's aggressive, boisterous and stubborn", so the reporters say. Bingo was the 2-year old pet of Professor of History and Oratory, Rollin G. Osterweis, '30, '46 Ph.D. and his family. At age two and a half, Bingo was already "a typical Old Blue", says Professor Osterweis, "pugnacious and stubborn, but lovable." Following Professor Osterweis' death, Eustace Theodore, Executive Director of the Yale Alumni Association took care of her.

Unfortunately, the Director of Athletics, "despite her breed - very strong, purebred and from a line of champions" - feels that the new pretender is not qualified. Bingo's undoing, alas, is her sex. "We're still looking for a male dog, because it's very hard to call a female 'Handsome Dan.' She's a mascot, but she's also a female and she should have her own name." The Athletic Director would prefer to have two bulldogs - one of each sex. Professor Osterweis, who called Bingo's selection as a mascot "my proudest moment as a Yale man, is not sure about the need for what the Athletic Director calls 'a coed pair' of bulldogs". "He's just afraid," Professor Osterweis says, "that there are likely to be some alumni who will crab if Handsome Dan isn't a male." The Athletic Director admits that Professor Osterweis is "a little sensitive about that," but claims that Bingo's separate status would not make her unequal. "It's true she won't be in the line of succession," he says, "but that shouldn't depreciate her eminence."

She descended from champions, white with brown spots and wore the Blue on a powerful 48-pound frame. Under AKC regulations, she is the only registered bulldog in the country bearing the name "Bingo". Three of her 8 great-grandparents were champions. She took an early retirement having reigned since 1975. See attached letter of Bingo's retirement that was sent to President A. Bartlett Giamatti.

Professor Osterweis' daughter, Nancy Osterweis Alderman, has a wonderful scrapbook on Bingo.