Joe Namath is a legendary former football quarterback who played 13 seasons in the NFL, predominantly for the New York Jets. Considered one of the game’s greatest and most iconic players ever, Namath was proficient both on the field, leading his team to victory in Super Bowl III and off it with his charismatic swagger and playboy lifestyle that made him a beloved American pop culture figure. As of 2023, Joe Namath’s net worth is $25 million.
Joe Namath’s Early Life
Joseph William Namath was born May 31, 1943, in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, to working-class Catholic parents Rose and Janos “John” Andrew Namath. His parents separated when Joe was just 5, so he moved to Pennsylvania’s steel country with his mother and grew up in poverty, living in public housing projects beset by financial troubles.
Despite the adversities, Namath excelled in football, basketball, and baseball while attending Beaver Falls High School and earned plenty of attention for his athletic skills. Over a dozen universities offered Namath scholarships, and he elected to attend the University of Alabama in 1962, to the disappointment of many Pennsylvanians.
Joe Namath’s Football Career at Alabama
Displaying talent rarely witnessed in any college quarterback, Joe Namath had a spectacular 3-year career for the Alabama Crimson Tide program under famous coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. Blessed with incredible arm strength, accuracy, and agility, Namath pioneered many characteristics inherent in modern NFL quarterbacks today.
In 1964, he helped lead Alabama to a national championship while being recognized as the conference’s Player of the Year. Namath finished his collegiate run with an impressive 29-4 record, setting over 15 passing records that endured for decades. His dazzling skills caught the eyes of pro scouts well ahead of time.
Signing with the AFL and Super Bowl III Heroics
In 1965, shunning more established NFL teams, Namath signed with the New York Jets in the younger AFL league run by its founder Sonny Werblin, eager to land star power. His $427,000 contract (over $3 million today) was the richest in pro football then. The move further intensified the rivalry between the battling leagues.
Namath became an instant star in the Big Apple, indulging a flamboyant lifestyle with The Jets did not accomplish much initially. But improving weapons around him, led by his otherworldly talent, helped the team capture the 1968 AFL East championship.
As underdogs in 1969’s AFL-NFL World Championship game pitted against the seemingly unbeatable Baltimore Colts of the NFL, Namath executed one of football’s most legendary moments. He brashly “guaranteed” an upset victory over the mighty Colts, then delivered as promised, cementing his ‘Broadway Joe’ legend for generations.
Joe’s Injuries and Life After Football
Following the iconic Super Bowl moment, injuries started plaguing Namath, forcing him to retire by 1977 at age 34 after 13 seasons. His final career stats included over 27,000 yards passing with 173 touchdowns at a highly efficient 50% rate, unheard of then. Namath was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame just five years after retiring – one of the fastest ever for any player.
Post-retirement, Namath dabbled in Hollywood acting and served as an NFL analyst, co-hosting sports shows occasionally but largely failed to replicate prior success. He returned, focusing his energy on supporting charitable foundations instead of a sponsorship role at March of Dimes. Joe also opened popular “Broadway Joe’s” sports bars in New York, Florida, and Connecticut.
Joe Namath’s Personal Life
In recent years, 78-year-old Namath has been more reclusive in trying to manage lingering football injuries, though he still participates in various league alumni charity events on occasion, bringing delight to longtime fans.
The legendary ladies’ man did settle down after decades of playboy antics, marrying his third wife, Deborah Mays, in 1984. Namath has two daughters – Jessica, an actress, and Olivia, an art major.
|May 31, 1943
|Joseph William Namath
|American Former Football Quarterback
|6 ft 2 inches
|Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Joe Namath Net Worth
The legendary NFL quarterback Joe Namath has built an impressive net worth of $25 million through his prolific football career and savvy business ventures. Namath signed a record $427,000 contract with the New York Jets in 1965, which equates to over $3 million today.
Over his 13 seasons in the NFL, he earned more than $500,000 in salary by the time he retired in 1977. Capitalizing on his star power, Namath scored highly lucrative endorsement deals for products like pantyhose and aftershave during a time when athlete commercials were extremely profitable.
Namath opened several restaurants off the field, including the successful “Namath’s” in Manhattan in 1969. During the 2000s, he could command up to $50,000 for a half-hour private event appearance.
Namath also earned income from his autobiography, published in 1969, and continues profiting from his co-owned “Broadway Joe’s” franchise restaurants. Carefully leveraging his football fame, Broadway Joe built his wealth through both smart investments and cashing in on his celebrity over the decades.
Little Known Facts About Joe Namath
- A close friend of legend Frank Sinatra named daughter Jessica after his song “Ol’ Blue Eyes Is Back.”
- Briefly hosted the short-lived The Joe Namath Show talk show on ABC in 1969.
- It appeared in popular films like C.C. & Company (1970), the television series The A-Team (1983), and The Simpsons (2006).
- Directed several college football games in the late 1980s after obtaining a signature fedora hat from Michael Jackson’s music video set.
- Had a prolific dating lifestyle with numerous rumored partners, from Ms. Worlds to movie stars, though he never married until 1984.
- Recorded pop song “The White Shadow” penned by advertising exec, which made it to Top 40 radio briefly
Over 50 years after his famous Super Bowl guarantee, Joe Namath still commands legendary status in football and all sports. His record-setting play that defied orthodox logic and his star charisma transformed Namath into an icon that helped fuel pro football’s rise into America’s most lucrative league today.
Though long retired, Broadway Joe remains an immensely marketable figure through various business interests and occasional appearances, helping maintain his estimated net worth of $25 million.
What is Joe Namath’s current age?
Joe Namath will be 79 years old in 2023. He was born on May 31, 1943.
Who is Joe Namath?
Joe Namath is a Pro Football Hall of Fame former quarterback who played 13 seasons primarily for the New York Jets. He led the Jets to victory in Super Bowl III and became one of football’s biggest stars of the 1960s/70s era.
Who is Joe Namath’s wife?
Joe Namath has been married to his third wife, Deborah Mays, since 1984. His previous high-profile relationships included actress Raquel Welch and television personality Suzie Tuff.
Where did Joe Namath attend college?
Namath played college football at the University of Alabama from 1962 to 1964 under legendary coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, who led the Crimson Tide to a national championship in 1964.
What was Joe Namath’s jersey number?
Namath wore number 12 throughout his pro career with the New York Jets as their quarterback from 1965 to 1976. The franchise retired his #12 jersey after he left the team.
What were some of Joe Namath’s career stats?
In 13 NFL seasons, Namath passed for 27,663 yards, threw 173 touchdowns, and completed 50.1% of passes, considered highly efficient for the 1960s/1970s era. He was a 4-time league passing yards leader as well.