Burgess Owens

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Clarence Burgess Owens is a retired professional football player and Republican candidate for Utah’s 4th congressional district in the 2020 election.

Owens was born on August 2, 1951, in Columbus, Ohio. The family later moved to Tallahassee, Florida, where his father taught college.

Owens played high school football and was one of four African-American players who were integrated onto a team at a white high school.[1] He was recruited to play for the University of Miami where he was named a First-Team All-American defensive back. In 1980 he was inducted into the University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame. He was also inducted to the Hall of Fame of Outstanding College Athletes of America and the Orange Bowl Ring of Honor.

After he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry, he was picked by the New York Jets in the first round of the 1973 NFL draft. He played for the Jets from 1973 to 1979, and then the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders from 1980 to 1982. He was part of the Raiders championship team that won Super Bowl XV.

After he retired from football, he moved to New York City, declared bankruptcy after a business with his brother failed, worked as a chimney sweep and security guard, and he took a sales job with WordPerfect in Philadelphia. In 2012 he moved to Herriman, Utah. He founded Second Chance 4 Youth, which is a Utah-based nonprofit organization dedicated to helping troubled and incarcerated youth.

Through his association with Todd Christensen, Burgess and his wife Josie were taught the gospel by missionaries and were baptized members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in April 1983.[2]

He and Josie are the parents of six children and are no longer married.