John Charles Layfield was born on November 29, 1966 in Sweetwater Texas, and is best known by his ring name, JBL. This professional wrestler works with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), under its RAW brand. His success is marked by his title as the longest reigning World Champion in Smackdown history, which lasted for 280 days.
Before he got into wrestling, Layfield was actually a collegiate American football coach for Trinity Valley Community College. He was also a player for Abilene Christian University, where he was a two-year starter on the offensive line. There, he was named first-team All-Lone Star Conference as a junior and senior. Later on, he played in the World League of American Football, starting in all 10 games of the 1991 season for the San Antonio Riders.
Layfield started wrestling in the Global Wrestling Foundation (GWF) in Texas, where his first gimmick was as Johnny Hawk. He formed the tag team “Texas Mustangs” with Bobby Duncum Jr., and later won the GWF Tag Team Championship from Rough Riders. In late 1995, he signed a contract with WWF and debuted the next year as Justin “Hawk” Bradshaw. He has had numerous personas, but took on the JBL character in 2004, when he wore a suit, cowboy hat and tie.
As JBL, his gimmick soon changed into playing a wealthy, gladhanding businessman. This is because of Layfield’s background and real-life accomplishments as a stock market investor. He has been a regular panelist on Fox News Channel’s The Cost of Freedom, and has even written a best-selling book on financial planning, titled Have More Money Now. Even though he works with the WWE, he also hosts a weekend talk radio program discussing his conservative political views. In addition, he is the Senior Vice President of Northeast Securities. In the world of wrestling, he has accomplished being a one time WWE Champion, a one time United States Champion, a one time European Champion, a seventeen time Hardcore Champion, and a three time World Tag Team Champion with Faarooq as part of the Acolytes Protection Agency (APA).