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Football Legend Roosevelt "Rosey" Grier

Updated on October 4, 2016

Growing Up in Georgia

Grier started working with his family in the fields on a farm when he was 3 years old. He was allowed to go to school at the age of 5 years old, yet could only attend three days a week. The remaining days he had to work in the fields picking peanuts cotton, watermelon, tomatoes, and greens. They made syrup too from cane syrup.

Football Great Rosey Grier


Child Labor & School

Grier shared with me that when he was as young as five years old, he made $1 a day, the same wage as an adult.

At the age of 11, Grier finally got to go to school full time. He noticed that a boy in class got straight "A's" on his work, and was motivated to do the same. His teachers told him don't worry about grades, black kids don't go to college. That motivated him to prove them wrong.

Going To College

He studied hard and got accepted into Penn State. His football career soared as he became an All American football player. Grier was one of 50 black students among a population of over 5,000.

Rosey Grier's College & NFL Career

Penn State
New York Giants
LA Rams
1974 Distinguished Alumni
In 1956 won the NFL title
Fearsome Foursome
1991 Alumni Fellow Award
Drafted to the Rams in 1963
Career ending injury

Playing NFL for the New York Giants

Fresh out of college, Grier was drafted in 1955 to play for the NFL New York Giants. As a defensive line, he helped the team to a NFL championship in 1956 and played with the Giants until 1962. During his time with the Giants, he led the team multiple years to the Eastern Conference Championships. Grier was selected to play in the Pro Bowl in 1956 and 1960 and was named All-Pro defensive tackle.

Playing for the LA Rams

In 1963 Grier was traded to the Los Angeles Rams and became part of the "Fearsome Foursome" with Deacon Jones, Merlin Olsen and Lamar Ludy. Grier is the only surviving member.

The Night Robert Kennedy Died

His football career ended in 1967 when he broke his Achilles tendon.

Grier was a personal friend of Robert "Bobby" Kennedy. He frequently traveled with him and his family as bodyguard. While in Los Angeles at the Ambassador Hotel, Grier was watching Bobby's wife Ethel, the night Kennedy was assassinated. Grier reacted quickly to apprehend and take the gun away from Sirhan Sirhan, until authorities detained him.

A Star is Born

Grier appeared on a variety of television shows (over 70 ) and a handful of motion pictures. He had his own weekly half-hour The Rosey Grier Show.

Give Back To Others in Need

This 84 year old football great isn't sitting at home much. He is on multiple Boards, including the Milken Family Board and the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

Baptised at the age of 7 years old, Grier later in life became an ordained minister. As a nationally renowned motivational speaker, he has received several national honors and White House invitations from various presidents of the United States.


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