As a football and baseball player, both at Auburn University and professionally, Vincent E. “Bo” Jackson is nothing short of a legendary figure who accomplished athletic feats that often seemed superhuman. Bo’s prowess as a running back on the gridiron from 1982-1985 at Auburn resulted in him being named a two-time first-team All-American, winner of the Walter Camp Award (NCAA football’s Player of the Year), and recipient of the most coveted individual prize in college football, the Heisman Trophy.
The 1982 Iron Bowl and Bo’s legendary “over the top” move at fourth and goal from the one-foot line is undoubtedly the single best play of his collegiate football career. Auburn’s victory was its first over Alabama in a decade.
On the baseball diamond, Bo was becoming one of the nation’s most outstanding collegiate players. Although he missed the 1984 season due to a football injury, Bo made an amazing comeback in 1985, hitting .401 with 17 home runs and 43 RBIs.
Following his athletic career at Auburn, Bo went on to greater glory as a professional athlete. He played baseball for the Kansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox, and the California (now Anaheim) Angels and football for the Los Angeles (now Oakland) Raiders. He is the only athlete in history to become an All-Star in both the National Football League and Major League Baseball, retiring from the former in 1990 and the latter in 1994.
Bo was born and raised in Bessemer, Alabama, the eighth of 10 children. After retirement, he returned to Auburn to finish his degree in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, fulfilling a promise he had made to his mother before she died. He, his wife Linda, and their three children make their home in Chicago, Illinois.
In addition to his entrepreneurial initiatives, Bo devotes much of his time to several organizations focused on the welfare of children and youth, including the Children’s Miracle Network, Chicago Off the Streets Club, and the America Goes Back to School program. To the many young people whose lives he is positively impacting through his philanthropic efforts, his athletic achievements are secondary to his humanitarian contributions.
Bo Jackson, a successful businessman, is president of Bo Jackson Enterprises, CEO of Bo Jackson Elite Sports, and director of Burr Ridge Bank & Trust. In 2008, he created the Give Me a Chance Foundation to enhance the lives of disadvantaged youth through participation in educational and sports programs that promote positive character building. After the devastating 2011 tornadoes in Alabama, Bo organized the “Bo Bikes Bama” charity bike ride. To date, the charity has raised more than $600,000 to support the Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund. In 2013, ESPN Sport Science and SportsCenter named Bo the “Greatest Athlete of All Time.”