Former football player Herschel Walker was born on March 3, 1962 in Wrightsville, Georgia. He rose to prominence with his exceptional ability in the sport beginning from his high school years; he led the Johnson County High School Trojans to their only state championship, and he earned the first Dial Award in 1979. He later entered the University of Georgia, playing as running back, and was a success immediately from his freshman year. He set a new NCAA freshman rushing record in 1980, and went as far as finishing third for polling for that year’s Heisman Trophy. He eventually won the honor in 1982.
Walker joined the United States Football League in 1983, intending to go professional before his class could graduate. His move was controversial, but his stint with the New Jersey Generals—at one point owned by Donald Trump—was also successful. He also earned a couple of endorsement deals. In 1985, fearing that the USFL wouldn’t last for long, Walker was finally drafted into the NFL, joining the Dallas Cowboys as fifth overall pick. Four years later, he was traded—controversially—to the Minnesota Vikings, a decision widely derided because of the cost to the receiving team and the fact that Walker was not given his full potential. Since then, he was sent to the Philadelphia Eagles, the New York Giants, and finally, back to Dallas.
Walker’s talent did not go without recognition. In 1999, he was elected into the College Football Hall of Fame, and was selected as one of the best college football players of all time by Fox Sports Net, ESPN and Sports Illustrated. His jersey number was also retired from use by other University of Georgia players. He returned to prominence in 2008, when he admitted—through his autobiography Breaking Free—that he was suffering from dissociative identity disorder, which he attributes to his sometimes erratic behavior and his forgetting about some aspects of his football career. He recently joined the second season of The Celebrity Apprentice.
- He married Cindy DeAngelis March 31, 1983. They divorced in 2002, but have one child together.
- He is the owner of several companies under the name "Renaissance Man International".
- He is the record-holder for the most rushing yards gained in a season, gaining 2,411 yards in 1985 with the USFL's New Jersey Generals.