Joseph William Namath, better known as Joe Namath, is a retired American football quarterback who’s widely considered one of the most talented football players of all time.
Namath enjoyed an illustrious football career playing in both the American Football League (AFL) and the National Football League (NFL). He played for a total of 13 seasons, spending most of his professional career with the New York Jets.
Joe Namath became a media icon during his football career, consequently earning the nickname ‘Broadway Joe.’ Thanks to his outstanding contribution to the sport, Namath was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985.
Besides his illustrious football career, Namath has also enjoyed moderate success as an actor and writer.
Joe Namath Quick Facts
|Full Name:||Joseph William Namath|
|Popular Name:||Joe Namath|
|Nicknames:||Broadway Joe, Joe Willie, and The Hungarian Howitzer|
|Birth Date:||May 31, 1943|
|Parents:||János Namath and Rose Juhász Namath|
|Siblings:||3 brothers – John Namath, Frank Namath, and Robert Namath; and 1 adopted sister – Rita Sims|
|Birth Place:||Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Education:||Beaver Falls High School and The University of Alabama|
|Marital Status:||Divorced; was married to Deborah Mays (from 1984 until their divorce in 2000)|
|Children:||Jessica Namath and Olivia Namath|
|Net Worth:||USD 25 million|
|Source of Wealth:||Football Salaries & Bonuses, Acting, Writing, and Other Ventures|
|Height:||6′ 2″ (1.88 m)|
|Weight:||In kilograms: 91 kg; In pounds: 200 lbs.|
Early Life and Career Information
Joseph William Namath was born on May 31, 1943, in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, United States, to János “John Andrew” Namath and Rose Juhász Namath. His father was a steelworker, whereas his mother was a homemaker.
Namath graduated from Beaver Falls High School in 1961. He subsequently enrolled for a degree program at the University of Alabama but dropped out before graduating to pursue his football ambitions. However, he later received a Bachelor of Arts degree in interdisciplinary studies in 2007 after successfully completing an external program. He was 64 years old then.
Joe Namath was a talented athlete right from his childhood. Namath excelled in multiple sports at Beaver Falls High School. He was an instrumental quarterback in football, an outfielder in baseball, and a guard in basketball. The multitalented athlete inspired his high school football team to win the WPIAL Class AA championship in 1960 with a 9 – 0 record.
Namath continued honing his football skills after graduating from high school. He received several offers from renowned Major League Baseball (MLB) teams, including the New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies, and the Pittsburg Pirates. He also received offers from several NCAA Division I programs, including from Penn State, Ohio State, Notre Dame, and Alabama.
But having already focused his attention on football, Namath declined all MLB offers and enrolled at the University of Alabama. He subsequently joined Alabama’s Crimson Tide football team.
As a senior, Namath inspired Crimson Tide to win the national championship. However, he left the University of Alabama before graduating to launch his professional football career.
Joe Namath joined the New York Jets in the 1965 AFL Draft. He was selected the first overall and went on to become one of the team’s most resourceful players over the next couple of years. Namath played for the Jets from 1965 until 1976. He then spent his 1977 season at the Los Angeles Rams before hanging his boots.
The following are Namath’s most notable professional achievements;
• Super Bowl III champion
• Super Bowl III Most Valuable Player (MVP)
• 4 × AFL All-Star in 1965 and 1967 – 1969
• 2 × AFL passing yards leader in 1966 and 1967
• AFL Championship MVP in 1968
• 2 × AFL MVP in 1968 and 1969
• NFL passing touchdowns leader in 1972
• NFL passing yards leader in 1972
• NFL Comeback Player of the Year in 1974
Joe Namath made his acting debut in a 1966 episode of the television series ‘ABC Stage 67.’ He became a big name on television in 1969 when he began hosting his own show – The Joe Namath Show. He hosted 13 episodes of the program, all filmed within the same year.
In 1970, Joe Namath made his film debut in the movie ‘Norwood.’ The same year, he appeared in the film ‘C.C. and Company’ and hosted an episode of ‘The Dean Martin Show.’
The following are other major films and television shows that Joe Namath has featured in to date;
• The Last Rebel (1971)
• Avalanche Express (1979)
• Chattanooga Choo Choo (1984)
• Going Under (1991)
• Underdogs (2013)
• The Wedding Ringer (2015)
• The Flip Wilson Show (1971 – 1973)
• Here’s Lucy (1972)
• The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour (1973 – 1974)
• The Waverly Wonders (1978)
• Fantasy Island (1981)
• Kate & Allie (1988)
• Married…with Children (1993)
• The Simpsons (1997 and 2013)
Joe Namath co-authored a book titled ‘I Can’t Wait Until Tomorrow…’Cause I Get Better Looking Every Day’ in 1970 with Richard Schaap. His biography, titled ‘Namath: A Biography,’ was released in 2004.
Namath’s most recent book, titled ‘All the Way: My Life in Four Quarters’ was published in 2019.
Joe Namath’s Net Worth
As at November 1, 2022, Joe Namath had a net worth of $25 million. Although Namath retired from football decades ago, NFL salaries and bonuses are still responsible for the bulk of his current fortune.
Namath’s rookie contract with the New York Jets was worth $427,000, spread over three years. That works out as $3.5 million today after adjusting for inflation. In 1975, Namath inked another lucrative deal with the Jets, a 2-year contract worth $900,000. That’s the inflation equivalent of $4.3 million in today’s dollars.
Joe Namath also raked in millions from brand endorsements. In 1975, Namath was the highest-paid celebrity endorser, with estimated annual earnings of $1 million from endorsement deals alone. He appeared in commercials for various renowned brands, such as Ovaltine, Hanes, and Noxzema.
Namath’s income also came from personal investments. The most notable of these was his Bachelors III nightclub that was located on New York City’s Upper East Side.
Acting and writing have likely also contributed a share of Joe Namath’s current net worth.
Lessons from Joe Namath
1. Success largely consists in specialization
Joe Namath excelled in all major sports during his high school years. But he probably appreciated the old adage that ‘a jack of all trades is seldom a master of any.’ That might explain why he ditched all other sports and threw his full weight behind football.
2. Get your priorities right
Namath was gifted both academically and athletically. However, he found it exceedingly difficult to balance between classwork and his athletic endeavors. The talented athlete decided to drop out of college before graduating to pursue his football ambitions, a gamble that ultimately paid off. Namath later earned his degree at the age of 64, clear proof that he was nearly as interested in education as he was in athletics.
3. Strive to leave your footprints in the sands of time
Joe Namath may have retired from professional football more than four decades ago. But he continues to receive recognition for his contribution to the sport.
Famous Quotes by Joe Namath
• I think I could have become an outstanding professional baseball player, but I don’t think I could have reached the heights that I have in football – being one of the very top players in the game, being a world champion.
• My family’s the most important thing in my life.
• When you have confidence, you can have a lot of fun. And when you have fun, you can do amazing things.
• When you win, nothing hurts.
• You learn how to be a gracious winner and an outstanding loser.
Joe Namath is among the only few NFL players to have hung their boots at the prime of their professional careers. However, the legendary footballer has continually involved himself in other income-generating endeavors even after exiting the pitch. His current net worth stands at $25 million.