Bo Jackson's Headshot

Bo Jackson

- Panelist Blurb

Even though a decade has passed since the end of his professional career, Bo Jackson is still widely regarded as the "benchmark for multi-sport athletes". Not only did he succeed at the highest levels in both football and baseball, he became an icon around the world with two words "Bo Knows". Bo has continued to succeed in life since his premature retirement due to injury with several successful business ventures, including N'Genuity Enterprises.

Born in 1962, in the steel town of Bessemer, Ala., Bo was the eighth of ten children. About his childhood, Bo remarked in his autobiography, Bo Knows Bo, "We never had enough food. But at least I could beat on other kids and steal their lunch money and buy myself something to eat. But I couldn't steal a father. I couldn't steal a father's hug when I needed it." Because of a crippling stuttering problem, Bo did not show his talents in the classroom, but on the athletic field as an exceptional baseball and football player. After accepting a scholarship from Auburn University, Bo was awarded the Heisman Trophy in 1985 after rushing for 1,786 yards.

When Bo Jackson came out of college as the best football player in the country, he shocked the sports world by deciding to play both professional football and baseball. This was unheard of, but not only did he play two sports, he starred and excelled in both sports.

Bo made a national name for himself as a Major League Baseball player from 1986-1995 for the Kansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox, and California Angels. He ended his baseball career with a .250 batting average, 141 homeruns, and 415 RBI in 2,393 at-bats. As a running back for the Los Angeles Raiders from 1987-1992, after the MLB season concluded, Bo averaged an impressive 5.4 yards per carry and dazzled television audiences with his many highlights. Unfortunately, at the height of his stardom Jackson's football career was cut short and his baseball career hindered by a serious hip injury caused in an NFL game. Bo's hip was eventually replaced and his career as a marquee, all-star athlete was virtually over, although he did play two more baseball seasons with an artificial hip. However, Bo was just beginning his new life, a career in business and as one of the nation's most sought after motivational speakers, amazing considering his childhood stuttering problem.

Keeping a promise he made to his mother before she died of cancer in 1992, Bo went back to Auburn and earned a college degree in family and child development in 1995. Since that time he has helped to found N'Genuity, opened a motorcycle shop outside of Chicago and partnered with Charles Barkley in an Alabama restaurant. Bo has continued to show that perseverance, determination, and vision are the key ingredients to succeeding in any venture, athletic or otherwise.

Bo currently resides in the suburbs of Chicago, IL with his wife Linda, their two sons, Garrett and Nicholas, and daughter, Morgan.

NOTE: Bio is as it appeared in the Forum program from October 14, 2005.