When people think of Archie Manning, they think football. But Archie’s appeal transcends his athletic achievements. People far and wide have been inspired by his warm personality, his drive and sense of humor. He was selected Father of the Year by the National Father’s Day Council. He currently serves in public relations and consulting capacities for several local, regional and national companies, including Gatorade and Direct TV. For 25 years he hosted four Archie Manning Cystic Fibrosis benefit golf tournaments in Louisiana and Mississippi and is active in a wide variety of charitable and civic causes.
Archie was born May 19, 1949, in Drew, Mississippi. He attended the University of Mississippi where he was named an All-American Quarterback and his number is retired. He was voted Mississippi’s Greatest All-Time Athlete in 1992, and was named Mississippi’s Most Popular Athlete of the Century. He was elected to the 50-Year All-South Team (1940-1990), named one of the Top 25 Athletes of the Century in Louisiana and him and his son Peyton were named among the 100 All-Time Greatest College Football Players. Archie was inducted into the National Football Foundation College Hall of Fame and is a member of other Halls of Fame including the Gator Bowl and Sugar Bowl and Louisiana and Mississippi Halls of Fame.
In 1971, Archie was the second player chosen in the NFL draft – the number one draft choice of the New Orleans Saints. He set Saints passing records, played in two Pro Bowls and was named the NFC Most Valuable Player in 1978. He concluded his 15-year career in 1985. He was the first player in Saints history to be inducted into the Louisiana Superdome Wall of Fame and was in the first class of the Saints Ring of Honor. He was recently named to the All 50th Saints team, recognized as one of the top 50 players in franchise history. He was also drafted four times by major league baseball.
While in pro football, he received the Byron “Whizzer” White Humanitarian Award, the Bart Starr Humanitarian Award, the Spirit of Good Sports Award from the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association and the U.S. Jaycees named him one of 10 Outstanding Young Americans. In 2005, Archie received the Legends award from the Davey O’Brien Foundation and the Aspire award, a tribute to life’s coaches, from the Cal Ripken Foundation. Archie was honored by the United States Sports Academy with the 2006 Distinguished Service Award. Also, he received the Silver Buffalo, the Boy Scouts of America’s highest award. Archie received the Reds Bagnell Award from the Maxwell Football Club, he was the 51st winner of the Bert Bell Award, and was honored at the Super Bowl in New Orleans with the Pat Summerall Award. Archie and his wife Olivia were recipients of the National Pathfinder Award for their work in post-Hurricane Katrina. Archie recently received one of the highest honors in football, the Gold Medal Award, presented by the National Football Foundation. This award has gone to seven Presidents, Admirals and Generals, corporate CEOs, and other distinguished Americans.
His community activities include Louisiana Special Olympics, the New Orleans Area Boy Scout Council, the Salvation Army, United Way Speakers Bureau, Allstate Sugar Bowl Committee and the New Orleans Sports Foundation and is Chairman of the Board of the National Football Foundation.
Archie and Olivia reside in New Orleans and have three sons, Cooper, Peyton and Eli. Archie and Peyton wrote a book entitled Manning: A Father, His Sons and A Football Legacy. Peyton and Eli also wrote a children’s book entitled “Family Huddle”. Archie and his boys have operated the Manning Passing Academy, a summer camp for high school quarterbacks and receivers, for 22 years. Archie is an owner of Manning’s, a sports-themed restaurant on Fulton Street in New Orleans.
In honor of the Mannings’ college football accomplishments, the Sugar Bowl has created the Manning Award to go to the nation’s best college quarterback. The Manning family was named the second most inspiring family in America by Town & Country Magazine in its June 2013 issue. They were featured in a highly rated documentary on ESPN entitled “The Book of Manning”.