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Archives & Special Collections (ASC)

History of the Cardinal Bird: 1963-1977

A history of the evolution of the University of Louisville's athletics mascot, known as the Cardinal Bird or Louie. Covers the development of the costume used for in-person appearances as well as the Cardinal Bird's depiction in print.


Cardinal Bird print mascot, 1963, with teeth and boots
Image credit: UofL v. Southern Illinois [football program], October 5,1963, Archives & Special Collections, University of Louisville.


In 1963, a new version of the Cardinal Bird - this time with teeth! - appears in programs. Other features appear here that are carried forward: his eyebrow and the dark coloration around his eye, which will become more pronounced; the feathers on his head; and the shape of his beak are all retained and refined over the years.