immigrants from Karakale (now: Merkezkarakale), Kars (present-day Turkey).
He earned a law degree from the University of San Diego School of Law and practiced for about a decade; after that, he went into business.
These were eminent reformers—among them the president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, two former heads of the U. Olympic Committee, and several university presidents and chancellors.
The Knight Foundation, a nonprofit that takes an interest in college athletics as part of its concern with civic life, had tasked them with saving college sports from runaway commercialism as embodied by the likes of Vaccaro, who, since signing his pioneering shoe contract with Michael Jordan in 1984, had built sponsorship empires successively at Nike, Adidas, and Reebok.
He also played for the San Francisco 49ers from 1978 to 1979.
In 1973, he became the first NFL player to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season.