Joe Namath is an American former professional football player who was a quarterback in the American Football League (AFL) and National Football League (NFL) during the 1960s and 1970s. He played college football for the Alabama Crimson Tide under coach Paul “Bear” Bryant from 1962 to 1964. Namath was an AFL icon and played for that league’s New York Jets for most of his professional football career. He finished his career with the Los Angeles Rams.
Namath was born and raised in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania (30 miles (50 km) northwest of Pittsburgh), and grew up in its Lower End neighborhood. Moreover, he is the son of Catholic parents, Rose (née Juhász) and János “John” Andrew Namath, a steelworker. Likewise, his parents were of Hungarian descent. His Hungarian-born grandfather, András “Andrew” Németh, known as “A.J.” to his family and friends, came to Ellis Island on the steamer Pannonia in 1911, and worked in the coal and steel industries of the greater Pittsburgh area. While growing up, Namath was close to both of his parents, who eventually divorced. Following his parents’ divorce, he lived with his mother. He was the youngest of four sons, with an older adopted sister.
College football career
Between 1962 and 1964, Namath quarterbacked the Alabama Crimson Tide program under Bryant and his offensive coordinator, Howard Schnellenberger. A year after being suspended for the final two games of the season, Namath led the Tide to a national championship in 1964. During his time at the University of Alabama, Namath led the team to a 29–4 record over three seasons.
Bryant called Namath “the greatest athlete I ever coached”. When Namath was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985, he teared up during his induction speech upon mentioning Bryant, who died from a heart attack in 1983.
Professional football career
Despite suffering a nagging knee injury in the fourth game of his senior year at Alabama, Namath limped through the undefeated regular season to the Orange Bowl. He was a first-round draft selection by both the NFL and the upstart AFL. The two competing leagues were at the height of their bidding war, and held their respective drafts on the same day: November 28, 1964. The cartilage damage to Namath’s right knee later designated him class 4-F for the military draft, a deferment from service during the Vietnam War.
Building on his brief success as a host on 1969’s The Joe Namath Show, Namath transitioned into an acting career. Appearing on stage, starring in several movies, including C.C. and Company with Ann-Margret and William Smith in 1970. And on stage in “Picnic” with Donna Mills in 1971 and in a brief 1978 television series. Likewise, the Waverly Wonders, he guest-starred on numerous television shows, often as himself. Including The Love Boat, Married… with Children, Here’s Lucy, The Brady Bunch. Similarly, the Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, The Flip Wilson Show, Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In. Further, the Dean Martin Show, The Simpsons, The A-Team, ALF, Kate & Allie, and The John Larroquette Show. Namath was a candidate to host the 1988 revival of the American game show Family Feud. That was before the job went to comedian Ray Combs.
While taking a voice class in 1983, Namath met Deborah Mays (who later changed her first name to May and then changed it again to Tatiana), an aspiring actress; he was 41 and she was 22. They tied a knot in 1984, with Namath claiming, “She caught my last pass.” The longtime bachelor became a dedicated family man. And that was when the couple had two children, Jessica (b. 1986) and Olivia (b.1991). The couple divorced since 2000, with the children living in Florida with their father. In May 2007, sixteen-year-old Olivia gave birth to her first child, a daughter, Natalia.
- Full Name:
- Date of Birth: May 31, 1943
- Age: 76
- Birth Place: Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania
- Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
- Weight: 201 lb (91 kg)
- High school: Beaver Falls (Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania)
- College: Alabama
- NFL Draft: 1965 / Round: 1 / Pick: 12
- AFL draft: 1965 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1
- Spouse: Deborah Mays (m. 1984–2000)
- Education: Big Beaver Falls Senior High, The University of Alabama
- Books: All the Way: My Life in Four Quarters, etc.
- Nicknames: Broadway Joe, The Hungarian Howitzer, Joe Willie
- Position: Quarterback
- Net Worth: $18 million dollars
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Reference Net Worth of Joe Namath