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Jim Kelly Biography

Early Excellence, The Class Of 1983, So Close, So Far, Retirement And Beyond


American football player

Although Jim Kelly led his team, the Buffalo Bills, to a record-setting four consecutive Super Bowls, he never won the NFL's championship game. Kelly's standing in the eyes of his colleagues and fans, however, was never affected by his failure to win the big game. His record on the field and off was nearly universally respected. Born outside Pittsburgh in an area known for producing legendary quarterbacks, Joe Namath and Johnny Unitas were among the many, greatness was Kelly's dream from the beginning.

Born James Edward Kelly on February 14, 1960, in East Brady, Pennsylvania, he was the fourth of six sons. His father, a machinist, often held multiple jobs in order to provide for his family. Although money was tight, Kelly learned the value of hard work and soon began contributing with the money he earned cutting grass and shoveling snow. Typical young boys, the Kelly's played sports year round and eventually five of the six would go on to play college football.

Sketch by Aric Karpinski

Additional topics

Famous Sports StarsFootball