Deacon Jones

Deacon Jones Net Worth

$2.5 Million

What was Deacon Jones' Net Worth and Salary?

Deacon Jones was an American professional football player who had a net worth of $2.5 million at the time of his death in 2013. Deacon Jones played defensive end in the National Football League for the Los Angeles Rams, San Diego Chargers, and the Washington Redskins. He was known for quarterback "sacks," a term which he coined. Jones was nicknamed "the Secretary of Defense" and is regarded as one of the greatest defensive players of all time.

Richest AthletesNFL Players
Net Worth:
$2.5 Million
Date of Birth:
Dec 9, 1938 - Jun 3, 2013 (74 years old)
Place of Birth:
6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
American football player, Actor, Singer
United States of America
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Deacon played most of his 14 seasons in the NFL with the Rams, where he earned All-Pro honors five years in a row. In 1980, Jones was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and in 1999, The Sporting News ranked him number 13 on their list of 100 Greatest Football Players. In 2013, Deacon passed away at his home in Anaheim Hills, California. He was battling lung cancer and heart disease.

Early Life

Jones was born on December 9th of 1938, in Eatonville, Florida, to his parents Ishmael and Mattie. He grew up in a family of ten in a small, four-bedroom house. Deacon attended Hungerford High School, where he played baseball, football, and basketball. During high school, Jones had surgery to remove a tumor that developed in his thigh.

Deacon enrolled at South Carolina State University in 1958 on a scholarship and began playing on the football team. After his freshman year, South Carolina State revoked Jones' scholarship after discovering he participated in a protest for the Civil Rights Movement. He then spent 1959 inactive.

In 1960, Deacon transferred to Mississippi Vocational College after the assistant coach at South Carolina State left the university and told Jones and other African-American players he could secure scholarships for them at Mississippi Vocational. While playing games out of town, Deacon and his African-American teammates were forced to sleep in cots in the opposing team's gymnasium, as most motels would not allow them a room because of their skin color.


Because of the lack of modern-day media and scouting networks, Jones was mostly overlooked as a prospect. The Los Angeles Rams discovered him by accident when they were scouting for running backs and saw that Deacon was outrunning all of them. The Rams then selected Jones in the 14th round of the 1961 NFL draft. He immediately earned a starting role on the team and was placed beside Merlin Olsen, which gave the Rams a fierce All-Pro left side of the defensive line. Deacon became part of what was known as the Fearsome Foursome defensive line of the Rams. Along with Lamar Lundy, Rosey Grier, and Olsen, they are now considered the best defensive line of all time.

Starting in 1965, Jones received All-Pro honors in five straight years and played in the Pro Bowl seven years in a row, from 1964 to 1970. During this time, Deacon coined the phrase "sacking the quarterback, " which he later described as putting the quarterback in a burlap sack and beating the bag with a baseball bat. He was considered by many to have revolutionized the position of the defensive end. Jones was unique for his speed and ability to make tackles sideline to sideline. He was also the first pass rusher to use the technique of "head slap," which is when a defensive end will slap the helmet of an offensive lineman to throw them off guard.

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

After the 1971 season, Deacon was traded to the San Diego Chargers. He was named captain of the Chargers' defense and led all defensive linemen on the team in tackles. He played two seasons with the Chargers, and in 1974, Jones was traded to the Washington Redskins, where he played his final season. In the final game of Deacon's career, the Redskins allowed him to kick the point-after-touchdown and was the game's last score.

Throughout his NFL career, Jones was a sturdy, consistent player. He played 14 seasons and only missed six games out of 196. In 1980, in his first year of eligibility, Deacon was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In 1994, he was named to the NFL's 75th Anniversary All-Time Team, honoring the greatest players in the first 75 years of the NFL. In 2010, Jones was named to the inaugural class of the Black College Football Hall of Fame.

After Football

Deacon has appeared in multiple television shows since the 1970s, including "The Brady Bunch," "Wonder Woman," "The Odd Couple," "Bewitched," and the immensely popular "ALF." He has also played roles in films such as "The Norseman" and "Heaven Can Wait."

Jones has worked for several companies, including Haggar Clothing, Miller Brewing Company, and Epson America. Deacon was a chairman for AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals in their national awareness program for hypertension.


In 1997, Jones established the Deacon Jones Foundation, which is designed to assist young people and their communities with a program that includes mentoring, education, corporate internship, and community service. The focus of the foundation is to create leaders through education who can give back to their community. He served as the president and CEO of the foundation until his death.


Deacon married his wife Elizabeth in 1991, and they stayed married for the remainder of his life.


On June 3rd of 2013, Jones died of natural causes after suffering from lung cancer and heart disease. He passed away at his home in Anaheim Hills, California, at the age of 74. After his passing, the NFL created the Deacon Jones Award, which is awarded annually to the league leader in quarterback sacks.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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