What was Franco Harris' net worth?
Franco Harris was an American professional football player who had a net worth of $3 million at the time of his death. Franco Harris played as a running back in the NFL for 13 seasons. He spent 12 of those seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, winning four Super Bowl titles with the team. In his first year as a professional in 1972, Harris was a main player in the legendary "Immaculate Reception," one of the most famous plays in American football history. He rushed for 12,120 yards. He was a nine time Pro Bowl selection, an AP First-Team All-Pro in 1977 and an AP Second-Team All-Pro in 1972 and 1975. He was the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 1972 and AFC Rookie of the Year the same season. Tragically, Franco Harris died just three days before the 50th anniversary of the catch. The Steelers had planned to retire his jersey #32 during at halftime at their game on the day after the anniversary date. At the time of his retirement in 1984 Franco was the third-leading rusher in NFL history, behind only Walter Payton and Jim Brown. Harris was the Walter Payton Man of the Year in 1976. He was inducted into the Pittsburgh Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2011 and has been named to the NFL 1970s All-Decade Team and the Pittsburgh Steelers All-Time Team. Harris was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990. His #32 jersey was retired and he is the Steelers All-Time Leader in rushing touchdowns, rushing yards, and rushing attempts and is a member of the 10,000 Rushing Yards Club.
- Richest Athletes › NFL Players
- Net Worth:
- $3 Million
- Date of Birth:
- Mar 7, 1950 - Dec 21, 2022 (72 years old)
- Place of Birth:
- Fort Dix
- 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
- American football player
- United States of America
Early Life and High School
Franco Harris was born on March 7, 1950 in Fort Dix, New Jersey to Cad, a black World War II veteran, and Gina, an Italian native. He had a younger brother named Pete who also went on to play football. As a teenager, Harris went to Rancocas Valley Regional High School, graduating in 1968.
For college, Harris attended Penn State University, where he played for the Nittany Lions football team. He finished his collegiate career with a total of 2,002 yards rushing and 24 touchdowns, while catching 28 passes for 352 yards and one touchdown. In 1970, Harris led the Lions in scoring.
Pittsburgh Steelers Rookie Year
In the 1972 NFL Draft, Harris was chosen 13th overall by the Pittsburgh Steelers. For his sensational first season with the team – during which he recorded 1,055 yards on 188 carries and rushed for 10 touchdowns – he was named NFL Rookie of the Year and NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. Moreover, Harris's first season was marked by the "Immaculate Reception," one of the most famous plays in American football history. The play occurred in the first round of the playoffs when, in the final 22 seconds of play with the Steelers down 6-7 to the Oakland Raiders, Terry Bradshaw's pass was deflected away from the intended receiver and landed in Harris's hand just before the ball hit the ground. Running it to the end zone, Harris gave the Steelers their first-ever playoff victory.
Further Career with the Steelers
Harris continued his impressive playing throughout the 70s and early 80s, serving as an integral contributor to the Steelers' incredible successes. In eight seasons, he rushed for more than 1,000 yards, shattering Jim Brown's record. Working in tandem with halfback Rocky Bleier, Harris helped the Steelers win four Super Bowl titles, in 1975, 1976, 1979, and 1980. He was named the MVP for the first tournament win, during which he rushed for 158 yards and a touchdown on 34 carries. This made Harris both the first African-American and the first Italian-American to ever be named Super Bowl MVP.
Due to the retirement of O. J. Simpson following the 1979 season, Harris became the career rushing leader among all active NFL players. After the 1983 season, both he and Walter Payton were closing in on the rushing record set by Jim Brown. Harris was ultimately released by the Steelers during training camp in 1984.
The Immaculate Reception
The Immaculate Reception occurred on December 23, 1927 in the fourth quarter, with 30 seconds left on the clock. The Steelers were trailing Oakland 7-6. Quarterback Terry Bradshaw escaped a tackle and sent out a desperate pass to John "Frenchy" Fuqua. The ball deflected off Frenchy and the Oakland defenders and spiraled to the ground before Franco was able to scoop it up with inches before touching the ground. With the ball in hand, Franco ran into the end zone for a touchdown:
Final Playing Year and Retirement
In the midst of the 1984 season, Harris signed with the Seattle Seahawks. He ended up playing only eight games with the team, gaining just 170 yards before he decided to retire. Although he finished his career 192 yards short of Jim Brown's record, Harris still managed to come in third at the time with 12,120 yards, and also third at the time in rushing touchdowns, with 91.
Harris embarked on various endeavors in the decades after he retired from the NFL. In 1990, he and his former Penn State teammate Lydell Mitchell opened Super Bakery, a purveyor of nutritious food for schoolchildren. Later, in 2007, Harris was chosen by the real estate investment trust Forest City Enterprises to lead a charitable foundation it had launched.
In early 2011, Harris became a co-owner of the women's football team the Pittsburgh Passion. The same year, he worked briefly for the Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Pennsylvania. However, he was let go due to his comments supporting his former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, who was involved in a child sexual abuse scandal. Harris also served on the advisory board of Penn State's Center for Food Innovation.
Personal Life and Death
Franco was married to Dana Dokmanovich with whom he had one child, a son named Franco "Dok" Harris who ran as a third-party candidate in the 2009 Pittsburgh mayoral election. He ended up coming in second place.
In December of 2022, Harris passed away in his sleep at his home in Sewickley, Pennsylvania. He was 72 years of age. Many tributes from football players, celebrities, and political figures came pouring in afterward.
In September 1994 Franco paid $425,000 for a home in Sewickley, Pennsylvania in the Pittsburgh suburbs. He remained in this home for the rest of his life. Today the home is worth around $800,000.