Born In New Orleans
Stewart was born in New Orleans on October 16, 1972. The son of Robert (a barber, house painter, and carpenter) and Florence Stewart, he was raised in Marrero, a suburb of New Orleans. It was not an easy childhood for Stewart. As he told Reuters, "my mom passed away when I was eleven, and my dad's been there for me ever since. It's been a rough one for me, but when things like that happen to you, you can either be a person who goes astray or understand that things happen for a reason, and that's the approach that I have taken." As a boy, Stewart managed to stay out of trouble by spending his free time helping his father in the barber shop or various other endeavors
and handling the cooking and laundry chores on the home front.
Because of his responsibilities at home, Stewart didn't really get involved in football until he joined the varsity team at the beginning of his junior year at John Ehret High School in Marrero. Despite his late start, he quickly demonstrated his talents on the gridiron, passing for a total of 1,645 yards and nineteen touchdowns his first season. The following year, Stewart, now a senior, ran an option-attack, throwing for 942 yards and seventeen touchdowns and carrying the ball for a total of 923 yards and twenty-three touchdowns. Stewart's versatile performance powered Ehret to a record of 8-3 and the district championship. Stewart was named Louisiana's Most Valuable Player and New Orleans Player of the Year, making him one of the most sought-after high school option-quarterback prospects in the country.
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