Joe Namath Biography, Age, Early Life, Education, Career, Family, Personal Life, Facts, Trivia, Awards, Nominations, Legacy, Social Media, NFL, , Net Worth & more

Joe Namath Biography

/nem/; NAY-meth; born May 31, 1943) is a former American football quarterback who spent 13 seasons playing in the National Football League (NFL) and American Football League (AFL), principally with the New York Jets. He was chosen first overall by the Jets in the 1965 AFL Draft while playing college football at the University of Alabama, where his final year saw him win the national championship. He led the Jets to one AFL championship and one Super Bowl during his five AFL seasons, and he was twice named the league’s MVP and leader in passing yards.

Both triumphs continue to be the Jets’ lone championships. Namath joined the NFL with the Jets after the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, and in the 1972 season, he led the league in passing yards and touchdowns. He played with the New York Giants for seven more seasons before joining the Los Angeles Rams for his final campaign.

When Namath assured his much favored Jets would win Super Bowl III before they stunned the NFL’s Baltimore Colts in one of the greatest sporting upsets ever, he secured his legend. The AFL’s first Super Bowl triumph helped dispel ideas that its teams were inferior to those of the NFL and showed they would enter the merger as equals. Namath won the Super Bowl MVP award and made history by being the first quarterback to claim both a major professional title and a collegiate national championship.


“Broadway Joe” as he was known in the media, Namath gained notoriety outside of sports. Namath is still one of the most well-known and well-liked players in the league. In 1985, he was admitted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Joe Namath Early life

30 miles (50 km) northwest of Pittsburgh, in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, Namath was born and raised. He grew up in Beaver Falls’ Lower End district. He is the child of Hungarian-born steelworker János “John Andrew” Namath and Rose (née Juhász), both Roman Catholics. András “Andrew” Németh, also known as “A.J.” to his family and friends, was born in Hungary and immigrated to Ellis Island on the vessel Pannonia in 1911:1. He worked in the Greater Pittsburgh coal and steel industries.


Namath was close to both of his parents as a child; they later got divorced. He moved in with his mum when his mother and father separated. He was an elder adopted sister and the youngest of four sons.

Namath was a standout quarterback in football, guard in basketball, and outfielder in baseball at Beaver Falls High School, where he excelled in all three sports. Namath frequently slammed the ball during games at a time when dunks in high school basketball were rare. On The James Brown Show in 2018, where he appeared as a guest, Namath later clarified a statement he had made regarding being the lone white player on his high school basketball team. Although there were other white players on the team, according to him, he was the only one who started. With a 9-0 record in 1960, Larry Bruno served as Namath’s Beaver Falls football coach as his squad captured the WPIAL Class AA championship.[6] Namath was later presented by Coach Bruno to the Canton Pro Football Hall of Fame.

He received offers from multiple Major League Baseball organizations after graduating from high school in 1961, including the Yankees, Indians, Reds, Pirates, and Phillies[8], but he decided to play football instead. In an interview, Namath stated that he wanted to join the Pirates and play baseball like his hero, Roberto Clemente, but decided to switch to football instead because his mother wanted him to pursue a college education.[9] He attended the University of Alabama but dropped out before receiving his degree in order to play professional football. But after finishing an external-program bachelor of arts degree in interdisciplinary studies at the University of Alabama in 2007, Namath received his college diploma at the age of 64.

Namath received numerous Division I college football offers from universities including Penn State, Ohio State, Alabama, and Notre Dame; nevertheless, Namath first chose the University of Maryland after receiving intense recruitment from Maryland assistant coach Roland Arrigoni. Maryland turned him down because his college-board scores fell just short of what was required. Coach Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant actively recruited Namath, and Namath accepted a full scholarship to Alabama. Namath’s recruitment, according to Bryant, was “the best coaching decision I’ve ever made.”

Joe Namath College football career

Namath was the quarterback for the Alabama Crimson Tide team between 1962 and 1964 under Bryant and his offensive coordinator, Howard Schnellenberger. Namath led the Tide to a national title in 1964, a year after being suspended for the final two games of the regular season. Namath guided the team to a 29-4 record over three seasons when he was a student at the University of Alabama.

Namath was referred to by Bryant as “the greatest athlete I ever coached”. Namath shed tears during his entrance speech when he mentioned Bryant, who had passed away from a heart attack in 1983, when he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985.

During the height of the civil rights movement in the South of the United States (1955–1968), Namath attended college.

Namath finished eleventh in the 1964 Heisman Trophy voting, which went to Notre Dame quarterback John Huarte.

Joe Namath Professional football career

Namath limped to the Orange Bowl in 1964 despite a bothersome knee ailment he sustained in the fourth game of his senior season at Alabama. Both the NFL and the fledgling AFL chose him in the first round of their respective drafts. The two rival leagues held their respective drafts on the same day, November 28, 1964, as their bidding war was at its height. Namath was eventually classified as class 4-F for the military draft, a deferment from participation in the Vietnam War, due to cartilage injury to his right knee.

Namath was taken by the New York Jets with the first overall pick in the AFL Draft, while the St. Louis Cardinals selected him with the 12th overall pick in the NFL Draft.

Namath asked for a new Lincoln Continental and a salary of $200,000 ($1,930,965 in 2023) when he met with Cardinals management. The Cardinals were originally shocked by Namath’s demands, but they told him they would only agree to them if he signed before the Orange Bowl, which would have disqualified him from participating in the game. Namath made the decision to join with the Jets, managed by Sonny Werblin, the day after the Orange Bowl, for a three-year contract of US$427,000 ($4,122,610 in 2023) that was a pro football record at the time. Following Namath’s debut on the Sports Illustrated cover in July, offensive tackle Sherman Plunkett coined the moniker “Broadway Joe” in 1965.

New York Jets

The 1965 Jets’ first six games of Namath’s rookie season saw them lose, and he split time with Mike Taliaferro, a second-year quarterback. They won five of the final eight games of their fourteen-game season with Namath starting full-time, and he was voted the AFL Rookie of the Year.

When he threw for 4,007 yards in a 14-game season in 1967, he beat the mark set by Dan Fouts in a 16-game season in 1979 (4,082). He was the first professional quarterback to pass for 4,000 yards in a season. Namath was an AFL All-Star in 1965, 1967, 1968, and 1969 despite suffering from knee injuries for the most of his career and undergoing four ground-breaking knee surgery by Dr. James A. Nicholas. Namath occasionally needed to have his knee drained during halftime in order to finish the game. Long after retiring from football, he had both of his knees replaced later in life.

Namath led the New York Giants to a 27-23 victory over the Oakland Raiders, who were the defending AFL champions, in the 1968 AFL championship game. His accomplishments during the 1968 campaign earned him the Hickok Belt as the year’s top professional athlete. He participated in the 1972 AFC-NFC Pro Bowl, was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985, and is a member of the Jets and American Football League All-Time Team.

Super Bowl III

The pinnacle of Namath’s career came in January 1969, just before the AFL-NFL merger, when he played in the Jets’ 16-7 victory over the Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III. The NFL’s Green Bay Packers had won each of the first two interleague championship games by landslides, and sports writers from NFL cities maintained the AFL would take several more years to become truly competitive. Before the game, Norm Van Brocklin, the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons and a former NFL star, mocked the AFL by saying, “I’ll tell you what I think about Joe Namath on Sunday night—after he has played his first professional game.” The 1968 Colts were hailed as “the greatest football team in history.”

We’re going to win the game,” Namath said in response to a heckler at a sports banquet in Miami three days before the game because he was sick of discussing the situation in the media. I promise it.

Namath supported his infamous boast with evidence. The renowned Colts defense, led by Bubba Smith, was unable to stop the Jets’ passing or rushing attacks, while the poor offense allowed the Jets to pick off four passes. Namath completed eight throws for 133 yards to George Sauer Jr. alone, winning MVP of the Super Bowl. With the victory, he became the first quarterback to start and win a Super Bowl, a major professional league championship, and a collegiate national championship game.

Even critics had to admit that the Jets’ victory instantly validated the AFL. Namath said, “That would be the Buffalo Bills’ defense,” when asked by reporters whether the Colts’ defense was the “toughest he had ever faced.” In their lone victory in 1968 in late September, the AFL’s worst Bills had intercepted Namath five times, scoring three touchdowns in the process.

Joe Namath Later career with the Jets

In contrast to his first five years in the league, during which he missed no games due to injury, Namath missed just 28 of a possible 58 games between 1970 and 1973 due to a variety of injuries. The Jets battled to records of 4-10, 6-8, 7-7, and 4-10 after capturing division titles in 1968 and 1969. The day of September 24, 1972, when he and his childhood hero Johnny Unitas combined for 872 passing yards in Baltimore, was his most memorable memory throughout those four seasons. Namath and Unitas each threw for 496 yards and six touchdowns as the Giants defeated the Colts 44-34, their first victory against Baltimore since Super Bowl III.

Numerous NFL experts believe that the game featured the best passing performance in league history. : 346 Another noteworthy event occurred in 1970 when Roone Arledge, the chairman of ABC’s televised sports, made sure that Namath was a part of Monday Night Football’s inaugural game on September 21. In Cleveland Municipal Stadium, the Jets played the Cleveland Browns in front of a record-breaking 85,703 spectators as well as a significant television viewership. However, the Jets fell thanks to a late Namath interception and set a team record for penalties.

Before the 1975 season began, the Chicago Winds of the World Football League (WFL) reached out to Namath. To start, they created jerseys that were almost exactly replicas of the Jets’, ditching red in favor of green and white so that Namath could continue to promote his number 12 jersey in Jets colors. Then they presented Namath with a three-year contract at $600,000 per year, a $2 million annuity (paying $100,000 annually for 20 years), a $500,000 signing bonus, and conditions that would eventually allow Namath to own a WFL team.

To continue airing the WFL on television, TVS Television Network required that the Winds sign Namath. In response to this development, Namath made a high demand of 15% of the league’s total television earnings, which was denied by the league. The WFL decided to dissolve a month later in the absence of a national broadcast agreement.

Los Angeles Rams

Namath spent twelve seasons with the Jets before being released prior to the 1977 season in order to join the Los Angeles Rams after a deal fell through. On May 12, signing Namath planned to revive his career, but 13 years of playing quarterback in the NFL had taken their toll due to knee issues, a poor hamstring, and other problems.

Namath struggled in a one-point away loss to the Chicago Bears on a chilly, windy, and rainy Monday Night Football game after playing well in a 2-1 start. He threw four interceptions and had a fifth one annulled by a penalty. At the end of the season, he decided to retire after being benched as a starter in favor of Pat Haden.

Joe Namath Acting career

Building on his brief success as the presenter of The Joe Namath Show in 1969, Namath made the switch to acting. Performing on stage, playing the lead in a number of motion pictures, such as 1970’s C.C. and Company with Ann-Margret and William Smith, as well as “Picnic” on stage with Donna Mills and The Waverly Wonders, a short-lived television series. The Love Boat, Married… with Children, Here’s Lucy, The Brady Bunch, The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, The Flip Wilson Show, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, The Dean Martin Show, The Simpsons, The A-Team, ALF, Kate & Allie, and The John Larroquette Show are just a few of the shows he appeared on as a guest star, frequently playing himself.

Before comedian Ray Combs won the position, Namath was a candidate to host the 1988 reboot of the American game show Family Feud.

Namath participated in summer stock performances of Damn Yankees, Fiddler on the Roof, and Li’l Abner. In 1983, as a cast replacement in a New York version of The Caine Mutiny Court Martial, Namath finally gained official recognition for the moniker “Broadway Joe.” He frequently served as a guest presenter on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and as a color analyst for NFL games, including the 1985 Monday Night Football season and numerous years with NBC Sports. Namath received recognition from the Ride of Fame in September 2012, and a double-decker tour bus was erected in his honor in New York City. He played himself in the comedies The Wedding Ringer (2015) and the sports movie Underdogs (2013).

Joe Namath Personal life

Namath was the only athlete mistakenly named as playing for the New York Giants on the master list of Richard Nixon’s political rivals that was made public in 1973 during the Watergate inquiry. John Dean, the White House Counsel, stated that he had no idea why Namath was on the list and that it might have been an error.

Namath met Tatiana, an aspiring actress, while taking a vocal lesson in 1983; she was 22 and she was Deborah Mays, who later changed her first name to May and then back to Tatiana. Namath was 39 years old and she was 22. In their 1984 wedding vows, Namath said, “She caught my last pass.” The couple’s two children, Jessica (born in 1986) and Olivia (born in 1991), transformed the longtime bachelor into a devoted family man. The children were living in Florida with their father when the parents filed for divorce in 2000.

Natalia, Olivia’s daughter, was born in May 2007. Olivia and her three children reside in California. Along with his mother, Jessica, John, Emerson, and Jemma are three more of Namath’s grandchildren. Namath practices transcendental meditation and owns a collie/shepherd named Zoie that she adopted from a neighborhood rescue facility. He shares ownership of the Lucky Shuck, a waterfront eatery with breathtaking views of the Jupiter Inlet and lighthouse.

Namath battled alcoholism throughout the early years of his marriage until his wife forewarned him that if he persisted, he might destroy his family. Namath was able to stop drinking by 1987, but following his divorce in 2000, he relapsed.

Namath gained adverse attention on December 20, 2003, when he overindulged in alcohol on a day when the Jets announced their All-Time squad. Namath was questioned about then-Jets quarterback Chad Pennington and his opinions on the team’s challenges during live ESPN coverage of the team’s game. Namath told interviewer Suzy Kolber that he had faith in Pennington before saying, “I want to kiss you.

I don’t give a damn that the team is having trouble. After apologizing, he began an outpatient alcoholism treatment program a few weeks later. Namath claimed to have used the incident as inspiration to give up drinking in 2019. He said, “I had embarrassed my friends and family and could not escape that emotion. Since then, I haven’t had a drink.

Two boys went missing while on a fishing excursion off the coast of Florida in July 2015. Namath joined the search for the lads and offered a $100,000 prize for their safe return. Six days after the boat was discovered, the search was called off and the two youngsters were assumed to be dead.

Namath threw out the first pitch on June 6, 2018, at a Chicago Cubs baseball game played at Wrigley Field. Joe Maddon, the current Cubs manager, who had loved Namath as a boy, caught the pitch. Namath had never visited Wrigley Field before.

Bachelors III

After winning the Super Bowl in 1969, Namath founded Bachelors III, a well-liked nightclub on the Upper East Side that drew not only notable figures from sports, entertainment, and politics but also from organized crime. NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle instructed Namath to sell his stake in the business in order to preserve the reputation of the league. In a tearful press conference, Namath reportedly announced his retirement from football, but he later changed his mind and decided to sell the team. He then reported to the Jets in time for the 1969–70 season. Before the 1970 and 1971 seasons, Namath once more promised to retire; New York noted in 1971 that “his retirement act had become shallow and predictable”.

According to the magazine, Namath did not want to go to training camp due to the possibility of getting hurt but was unable to finance a permanent retirement due to subpar assets.


Media and advertising icon

As seen by his numerous product endorsements throughout the years, Namath was the first sports figure to appeal equally to men, women, and children thanks to his skill on the field, fashion sense, cheerful attitude, and popularity as a sex symbol. His Jets teammate Sherman Plunkett gave him the moniker “Broadway Joe” Sportscaster Howard Cosell gave Namath the nickname “Joe Willie Namath” based on his entire name.

Namath used low-cut white shoes on the field instead of the customary high-top black shoes, which made him stand out from other AFL and NFL players. The tradition of wearing white shoes dates back to Namath’s time at Alabama, when he continued to do so out of superstition after his first significant knee injury occurred during a game in which he had neglected to have his worn-out cleats bandaged. Before Jets coach Weeb Ewbank realized that Namath’s excessive tape use was costing the team money, he had white cleats ordered for Namath. Namath continued to have his shoes wrapped after joining the Jets.

He started the trend of spectators donning full-length fur coats (now outlawed by the NFL, which now mandates that all players, coaches, athletic trainers, etc. wear league-approved team gear) while watching games.

Both before and after his playing career, Namath made appearances in television ads, most notably for Ovaltine milk flavoring, Noxzema shaving cream (in which he was shaved by a then-unknown Farrah Fawcett), and Hanes Beautymist pantyhose (which he memorably wore in the commercials). He became a pop cultural icon as a result of all of these commercials.

Namath is still the Jets’ unofficial spokesperson and goodwill representative. In 2011, Namath appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman on behalf of Topps to promote a “Super Bowl Legends” competition. To “bring back a little of that flash from his heyday” as a player, Namath and his daughter Jessica donned fur coats for the ceremonial coin toss at Super Bowl XLVIII, which was held in the MetLife Stadium of the New York Jets.

The $27 million expansion and refurbishment proposal for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, was presented by Namath as the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s guest speaker on June 2, 2013.

As of 2018, Namath serves as the Medicare Coverage Helpline’s spokeswoman.

Joe Namath Biographies

The biography Namath: A Biography by Mark Kriegel was released in November 2006, and it debuted at number 23 on the New York Times extended bestseller list. Namath was interviewed for the November 19, 2006, episode of CBS’ 60 Minutes in connection with its release. Namath and the reasons Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, has honored its ties to him are discussed in a new documentary about Namath’s hometown. He gave the Vince Lombardi Trophy to the Pittsburgh Steelers, who won Super Bowl XLIII, in 2009, 40 years after they won Super Bowl III. In its A Football Life series, NFL Productions also created a two-hour television biography.

Joe Namath Trivia

Joe suffered a cracked jaw after being the victim of “unnecessary roughness” by an Oakland lineman on December 17, 1967, during a game against the Oakland Raiders. He did well by playing on and throwing a touchdown. A unique protective helmet with a “Jaw Strap” was developed as a result of this occurrence.

To this day, many NFL quarterbacks are protected by this helmet. He again played the entire game the following week, on December 24, 1967, when the NY Jets defeated the San Diego Chargers 49-31.

was the first quarterback in professional football history (4,007 yards in 1967) to pass for 4,000 yards in a season. Still a mark for the New York Jets.

173 touchdowns and 27,663 yards passing over his career.

He founded Bachelors III while still a football player, but the NFL immediately ordered him to either close it down or give up ownership due to concerns about “undesirable characters” frequenting the establishment. He declined, and as a result of the fallout with the NFL, he gave up playing football. But after giving up the bar, he returned the following year.

42 years after quitting school early to become a pro football hero, graduated from the University of Alabama in December 2007

caused a stir when, prior to Super Bowl III in 1969, he “guaranteed” victory.

Leader in passing yards for the New York Jets overall (27,057).

member of the AFL All-Time team and a three-time All-Star in the league.

Hall-of-Fame NFL quarterback won Super Bowl III with the help of the NY Jets.

conducted a number of advertisements, including those for Ovaltine, Noxema Shaving Cream, popcorn makers, and pantyhose.

was given the chance to host Family Feud in 1988 when the program was brought again. However, the producers soon changed their minds and decided to recruit Ray Combs instead.

First quarterback for the New York Jets to throw for 400 yards in a game had 415 against the Miami Dolphins on 10/1/1967.

Jessica Namath (also known as Jessica Grace Namath), born in 1986, and Olivia Rose Namath, born in 1991, are daughters born to Deborah Mays.

The New York Jets retired jersey number 12. On January 12, 1969, in Super Bowl III, the Jets’ quarterback led the team to a surprising 16-7 upset victory over the strongly favored Baltimore Colts.

has three games for the New York Jets with at least 400 yards.

(27,663) Places 38th on the NFL’s All-Time Gross Yards Passing List.

1985 saw his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

twice over his illustrious career. At a tearful press conference following the Jets’ victory in Super Bowl III, he announced his first retirement as a New York Jet. After participating in only a small number of games as a Los Angeles Ram, the second and last time occurred quietly in 1977.

His diverse business interests included (Mickey) “Mantle’s Men and Namath’s Girls” employment agency and “Broadway Joe’s” fast food chains.

Alabama quarterback (1963 and 1964) who was an All-American.

played with the Los Angeles Rams in 1977 and the New York Jets from 1965 through 1976.

Quarterback of the “Arthritis Huddle” for the online arthritis community and the anti-inflammatory medicine Mobic.

Awarded the 1968 Most Valuable Player honor in the American Football League (AFL).

The New York Jets’ single-game passing record against the Baltimore Colts on September 24, 1972, was 15 of 28, 496 yards.

In their 1978 football issue, Topps was planning to add a Joe Namath card. Namath, however, objected to being pictured wearing a Rams uniform, therefore no card was printed. There is a myth that his card, which was supposed to be #498 in the series, really showed the Rich Saul of the Rams.

ranks 78th (1,425) on the NFL’s all-time list of yards lost.

For the New York Jets, has 21 games with at least 300 yards.

42nd place on the NFL’s all-time passing touchdowns list (173), tied with Charley Conerly and Norm Van Brocklin.

dated Vicki Roberts twice: once in 1982 when she was still in law school and again in 2002, when they reconnected on Valentine’s Day.

Son of Frank and Rose Namath.

Super Bowl III’s Most Valuable Player completed 17 of 28 passes for 206 yards and an 83.3 rating.

Deborah Mays (born 1962), sometimes known as “Tatiana,” was his wife of 15 years when he filed for divorce from her in 1999.

ranks 41st out of 3,762 all-time NFL passing attempts.

Ranks 55th out of 1,886 total pass completions in NFL history.

“Namath,” his autobiography, has been published.

Ranks 17th overall on the NFL’s all-time passes intercepted list (220), tied with Babe Parilli.

joint-99th position with Frank Ryan on the NFL’s all-time list of sacks (150).

He made an appearance in Flex-All 454 television ads.

Natalia, his first granddaughter, was born to his younger daughter Olivia in May 2007.

How many houses and cars does Joe Namath have?

Joe Namath is the owner of numerous homes and vehicles in the United States. With a net worth estimated at $25 million, he undoubtedly would have invested in real estate and some high-end vehicles even though not much has been linked to his name as of yet.

How much does Joe Namath make per year?

Namath signed a contract worth US$427,000 over three years, or US$152,000 per year, when he was still in the NFL’s prime. With an annual income of US$1.16 million in today’s market, the sum translates to US$3.5 million over the course of three years.

What investments does Joe Namath have?

Joe Namath has invested in his own businesses and real estate on a number of occasions.

How many Endorsement deals does Joe Namath have?

Joe Namath was one of the National Football League’s go-to men for endorsements back in the 1960s and 1970s. He appeared in countless commercials for businesses including Ovaltine, Noxzema, and Hanes throughout his career as an endorser.

How many Philanthropy works has Joe Namath supported?

Throughout his career, Joe Namath has participated in a number of charity endeavors, including funding charities and non-profit groups that assist causes including AIDS/HIV, cancer, education, and mental health issues, among others.

All Stars Helping Kids is one of the foundations and nonprofits he has supported. Autism Speaks, Smile Train, Project Sunshine, Max Cure, and Michael J. Fox Foundations

How many businesses does Joe Namath own?

Three of the restaurants on Love Street in Jupiter are owned by Joe Namath, who has invested in a variety of enterprises. Here is an illustration of some of the meals they provide.


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